Sale of replica of knitted indigenous woven materials banned

BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, urged all department stores, garment stores, souvenir shops and online selling sites to stop the buy and sell of machine-made and cheap replica of knitted indigenous woven materials and apparels in the city and elsewhere.

In a resolution, city legislators stated that local establishments have sought the assistance of the city government to intervene to prevent the proliferation of fake and cheap knitted woven materials in the city that are considered as replica of the indigenous woven products from the different tribes of the Cordillera.

Earlier, local weavers and industry like Easter Weaving, Inc. and Cordillera Inabel raised awareness among the city business establishments of the presence of the machine-printed weaves that came from Divisoria and China that poses a serious threat to tradition, economy and business integrity.

The council pointed out that original indigenous peoples’ woven products and apparels have their origin in traditions and tribe identity which have been passed on from their ancestors spanning several generations.

According to the body, woven garments and materials tradition have supported life and history of peoples in terms of the preservation of indigenous knowledge, the weaving and fiber industry, the economic activity, practice of indigenous skills and creativity and the pride of weavers.

However, the council noted that free trade and commerce has ushered the alleged proliferation of machine-made and very cheap replica of traditional weaves which runs counter to the customs and traditions as well as history of indigenous peoples  who passed on to several generations such indigenous skills and knowledge that established their identity in terms of their woven products among others.

Established and start-up weavers in the city admitted having lost numerous potential customers because of the proliferation of the machine-printed indigenous woven products which are reportedly much cheaper compared to the original ones that now poses a serious threat to the aforesaid industry.

While the weavers understand that people have to make a living for their families, they explained that it should be not to the extent of harming others and the region’s lucrative weaving industry.

Moreover, many owners of local shops selling original Cordillera woven products were reportedly shocked to know about the proliferation of the machine-printed fake inabel designs that have reportedly contributed in their sudden low sales, thus, the need for appropriate action from concerned government agencies and the local governments for them to bring back the vibrance of the weaving industry.

The local weavers urged concerned officials not to let the fake inabel products be used as accents in the uniforms of government workers as the same shows disgrace and disrespect to the hardworking weavers. – Dexter A. See