Monday, May 30, 2011

Store: CM Crafts Center

In the Philippines, sustainable development goes beyond the definition that covers organic resources as it also refers to the preservation of our indigenous culture and protection of the indigenous peoples. Rather than treating the IPs as an ‘other’, several groups came together with various IPs and established a partnership with them to sustain their livelihood. ‘Non-Timber Forest Products Task Force’ (NTFP) , a network of local and Southeast Asian non-governmental organizations dealing with issues such as land reform, resource management and livelihood established a crafts center called CM Crafts Center or Custom Made Crafts Center in 2003 to promote the talent and products of various IPs in the Philippines, namely the Mangyans of Mindoro, Palaw’anon and Tagbanua of Palawan, Higaonon of Bukidnon, Maguindanaon of Mindanao, the T’Boli of Lake Sebu, as well as rural artisans and weavers from Negros and Pangasinan. The network practices fair trade and constantly dialogues with the IPs in order to reach prices that would allow consumers to help provide for the basic needs and traditional way of life of the IPs adequately and meaningfully. Through CM Crafts, women from the IP and rural areas are also empowered to help their household. Women have always been given respect in particular ways in IP culture, and their role in livelihood increased their already-revered role in society.

CM Crafts Center covers a wide range of products, from seeds, organic food, special collections made by particular IPs, beads and ethnic textiles, journals, filing boxes, office bags and lunch boxes (aptly called “gathering packs” – the name reminds me so much of the hunters’/nomads’ lifestyle), home décor such as pillows, photo frames and placemats and of course wardrobe and accessories. CM Crafts Center also sells woven dresses, tops, belts, bags and woven necklaces and bracelets among others:

CM Craft Center Showroom, Metro Manila, Philippines

CM Crafts Center is one of the many local advocacies for sustainable development but its partnership with the country’s IPs is what makes it stand out from the rest. When you buy a CM Craft product, you carry with you the IPs’ legacy that spans several centuries and help these IPs carry on their cultural legacies even longer.

CM Craft Center

92-A Masikap Ext., Bgy. Central
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines Tel Nos. +6329293665 / +6324262757
You can view their products and purchase online via the CMCrafts Website

Photo: NTFP

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