Alazas readies hablon for export
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 25, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Fashion designer and entrepreneur Dexter Alazas is readying his hablon business for the export market.

Through Alazas’ Atelier’s retail arm Amano Craft Creations, Alazas said in an interview that the export market offers good opportunity for hablon and the local weavers to improve their income level, at the same time bannering the local Cebu product to the world market.

Alazas’ pioneered the re-development of hablon, a centuries’ old handloom weaving industry that originated and thrived in Argao, Cebu.

Now supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its shared facility services (SFS) program, where the agency is providing machine to women weavers, Alazas said going export is not a difficult road to take.

To prepare for this plan, Alaxas is already connecting with the exporters in Cebu and even will participate on the upcoming Cebu Design Week to get the “real feel” and familiarize the export value chain.

At present, fashion and lifestyle products made of hablon are displayed in Parklane Hotel, and at Alazas’ shop.

Gowns, formal dresses, caftan , shoes and clutch bags, scarf, and other resort ensembles made of hablon and a bit of banig materials are also being constantly showcases in different fashions shows here and other parts of the country.

Since Alazas re-introduced hablon through his designs about three years ago, he noted that these kind of intricate, handcrafted creations appeal mostly to foreign customers—either for fashion collection, or as souvenir from Cebu.

Already, Alazas has been serving clients who buy products made of hablon and banig to different countries, through Filipinos residing abroad.

He is confident that export move will make hablon an international hit, especially that the trend now especially from fashion authorities are going towards nature-based materials.

  The increasing number of responsible consumers, whose preference are to buy sustainable products, is seen to benefit the old-age industries such as hablon weaving, as Alazas believes that consumers whose passion is to support sustainable fashion and believe in local product are surprisingly increasing.

Hablon is derived from the Hiligaynon word “habol”, which means to weave and, therefore, refers both to the process and the finished products.

Part of social entrepreneurship advocacy as a designer and creative industry player in Cebu is also to promote “barong bisaya.” Although, short term goal he said is to solicit support from government and society for hablon to be declared as official Cebu fabric.

DEXTER ALAZAS
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