The fashion label is best known for championing local textiles and supporting Filipino indigenous weavers
Think of bomber jackets made of vibrant ikat textiles, striped rompers made of northern looms, and flounced skirts and dainty dresses in inabel fabrication. That is what homegrown brand Piopio is all about, merging the new with traditions with its beautifully crafted contemporary pieces that celebrate local weaving heritage and the people behind it. Sadly, that journey ends, for now, as the label announced its closure due to the ongoing pandemic.
In a statement released last Sept. 10, 2021, the proudly Pinoy brand expressed its gratitude toward the people that supported its journey, most especially the local communities it had partnered with, which are at the core of the brand’s initiative.
“We would like to begin with a big thank you for your amazing support and encouragement over the last years. What was born out of a personal passion and excitement for Filipino art, culture, and artisanal tradition snowballed into a community beyond our wildest imagination—one of like-minded, fun, and colorful individuals brought together by a shared purpose of supporting our local artisans and keeping our history alive,” it posted.
“We began Piopio as a way to connect our treasured local weavers with a consumer base that would appreciate and enjoy their craft as much as we did. With the current health situation today, we are finding it difficult to produce and move our items without jeopardizing the true value of the product and protecting our weavers and retail team alike,” the brand continued.
Since 2016, Piopio has worked with indigenous communities and directly outsourced textile from them. To further strengthen its mission of championing Filipino weaves and the people who worked on them, the label collaborated with historians and community chiefs to learn how to treat and use these ethnic products with high respect, in turning them into something relevant to today’s Filipinos while still maintaining and honoring its history.
“We just want to tap a new generation and keep these textiles alive,” Piopio’s Paloma Zobel said in a previous interview with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “When we work with the communities, we definitely like to hear from them, and we respect their culture, their heritage. I always say that our biggest inspiration is probably the communities that we work with because, at the end of the day, we’re trying to encompass what a Filipino lifestyle is.”
The brand continues to encourage everyone to support local weaving communities and patronize and purchase their works directly from them. To ensure this, Piopio will be sharing a directory of the groups they have partnered with in the past to make it easier for everyone to collaborate. It also said that “all Piopio colors and designs will now be property of the weavers to use as they please.”
Currently, Piopio’s pieces can still be found online at Kalye Artisano (@piopio_kalyeartisano) and continue to accept custom orders until the end of September 2021 at its website and @piopio_tindahan on Instagram.