Answering the call for sustainability, one bag at a time

Published September 12, 2021, 5:48 AM

by Aaron Cabeza

This designer bag is not only a collector’s item, it also supports sustainability and Filipino craftsmanship

Three fundamental pillars of sustainability are economics, environment, and society. The so called “cherry on top” of its recent awarding of the Woman Champions of Sustainability is a product that addresses the three pillars, Conrad Manila’s innovative mid-Autumn festival limited edition handcrafted bag aptly called “Harvest.”

The brainchild of the Conrad Manila team goes beyond a simple designer bag, it is a product of collaboration with community artisans and Filipina designer Zarah Juan. Each of these bags are packaged along with Conrad Manila’s signature mooncakes from the award-winning Chef Khor of China Blue by Jereme Leung.

“I’m proud of Zarah Juan, who has been with Katutubo for how many years. I’ve seen all of her designs. Even Sec. Puyat (Berna Romulo-Puyat) would tell you that her designs are something we can be proud of as Filipinos,” says Katutubo Philippines founder Mons Romulo.

BOUNTIFUL HARVEST From left: Conrad Manila executives, director of operations Emile Otte, commercial director Michael Abana, GM Linda Pecoraro, F&B director Ben Nicholas

“We are grateful for this partnership as it contributed to our communities’ with added livelihood,” beams Zarah Juan. “The bags are designed with functionality for your personal lifestyle. We hope that you carry and use the harvest bag with pride, and in doing so, you help the heart of Zarah Juan brand in uplifting Filipino craftsmanship.”

A testament to local craftsmanship, the embroidery is a depiction of the traditional barong fabric with intricate rice grains design—a homage to mid-autumn’s lunar harvest and the national wear of Filipinos. The bags that come in classic colors luscious red and coral tan were handcrafted from upcycled wood by artisans of Paete, Laguna.

LUNAR HARVEST From left: Director of operations Emile Otte, commercial director Michael Abana, Conrad Manila GM Linda, and F&B director Ben Nicholas; and the Conrad Manila ‘Harvest’ mooncake bags by Zarah Juan