PROCESS-Bohol, Inc.

PROCESS-Bohol, Inc.: Tubigon Loom Weavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative

Tagbilaran City, PhilippinesPinayagan Norte, Tubigon, Philippines
Year Founded:
1989
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Established
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

15 women weavers established a cooperative with PhP5,000 grant received from local government. Through perseverance and determination, the cooperative has 60 full time loomweavers, setup its own weaving facilities, improved its processes, and leveled-up its products to cater institutional clients

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the thorny plant, buri palms, once ignored by the people in the communities will be transformed into a globally important fabric that economically empower the local women and making them globally competitive micro-entrepreneur?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Loomweaving is a century old weaving industry in the province of Bohol. Since time immemorial this weaving tradition has been handed down from generations to generations. In 1989, 15 women having seen the need to sustain economic development of Pinayagan Norte, Tubigon, Bohol organized the Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a cooperative organized under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

1. Provision of working capital. 2. The local government unit of Tubigon donated lot for production center and expansion site sealed through a Memorandum of Agreement between government and cooperative to ensure sustainability 3. Financial and technical support were extended from various government and private sector 4. New production division established to cater the export market and transition the group to a more organized and professional business entity capable of running and marketing high end product lines. 5. Continuous skill training and product development. 6. Product diversification from mere raffia rolls to placemats, table runners, throw pillows, tea mats and coasters, sold to retailers/ exporters in Cebu and Metro Manila

Awards

a) SME Star Elite Award 2011 b) 2012 SME Elite Award for the Small Category for Region VI; c) Top Seller Award for Sandugo Trade Exhibits; d) Best-Dressed Booth e) Top Selling Exhibitor
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Ms. Trina Sumayang, Marketing Manager of the cooperative cited the loom weavers’ willingness to embrace change. “We had to go through a lot of changes, some of which aren’t easy just to improve our crafts. We are glad that almost everyone cooperated in the process.” The weavers started with practically no skills. The Department of Trade and Industry trained them about two-to-four harness weaving and designing of products and natural dyeing techniques. Now, they have greater variety of designs and more orders from exporters. After skills training and product development initiatives they were able to produce good quality rolls of fabrics, placemats, table runners, throw pillows, tea mats and coasters and sell these to retailers/ exporters

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Today, TMLC has 60 full time loom weavers working from 8am to 5pm aside from the home-based weavers. It has set-up its own weaving facility, improved its processes, and leveled-up its products. It caters to institutional clients and participates in major trade fairs and expos in Cebu and Metro Manila. It supplies woven products to local resorts in Bohol and sells to major balikbayan or souvenir shops in Cebu and Manila. They become part of the global supply chain by supplying exporters either with rolls of fabric or finished products, which the latter eventually ship to EU, Japan, and the United States. Recently, an exporter from Cebu ordered 477 rolls of fabric, with each roll measuring 55 inches x 21 meters. If put together, the fabric would measure over 10,000 meters! The client will use the fabrics for products that it will eventually export to a new hotel in Malaysia.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Cooperative is being tapped by two government agencies to train more weavers in 5 municipalities in Bohol. The project also intends to do a big leap on its product and design directions by introduction of soft woven raffia for fashion, accessories and interior applications and more sturdy woven for interior/ architectural applications. These may include mixing/ crossing fine raffia with silk, cotton, polyester creating a fluent and soft appearance. Also mixing/ crossing the usual and traditional raffia with indigenous materials creating a textured, medium strong and semilucent appearance
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The cooperative has an average annual income of P1,4 mil. It’s current assets is P3,5 mil. The cooperative’s maximum production volume is placemats – 11,616 pieces and 968 rolls per month. Thus their main revenue generated comes from their customers. As such, the group has to nurture their existing buyers who are mostly exporters and continue to actively participates in local and national trade fairs and aggressively market their products.
Team

Founding Story

Tubigon is one of the poorest municipality in Bohol province. Prior to the project, the members were doing fish vending, fishing and farming. Loomweaving is a century old weaving industry in the locality handed down through generations. Woman weaves fabrics at home to earn additional income, and paid for every piece finished. In 1989, 15 women saw the potential of loom weaving and organized the Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative. They started with P 15K capital. When raffia woven items were declared as One Town, One Product (OTOP) of Tubigon Municipality, opportunities open for financial and technical assistance, promotional efforts from government and private organizations.

Team

The present team is composed of Cooperative officers - Part time and Operation staff – full time As the project grows, the team plans to hire full time staff: a) Production supervisor - supervises the production operation b) Controller - controls and records the raw materials and checks the quality of the finished products c) Research and development - conducts researches on the current trends of products designs d) human resource – in-charge of personnel and workers
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing, Consumption.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Advocate/Organizer, Consumer, Non-profit Staff.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Consumers, Farmer or Farmer Associations, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Access to Finance, Accountability, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Gender Equality, Anti-forced Labor or Anti-Human Trafficking, Physical Working Conditions, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Capacity Building, Policy.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?

no

If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

Community development, Economic development, Environment, Poverty alleviation, Sustainable agriculture, Sustainable development.

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?

Raffia materials from the buri palm (corypha elata) have multiple uses. It can be linked to products like high quality fabric

Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Women weavers become changemakers of their community

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

cooperative partner with various government and private sector agencies, e.g. Aus-AID, Ayala Foundation, DTI-CARP.