Weaving Joyful Stories & A Better Future

Sustainable fashion for world changing women, handcrafted by artisans in the Philippines. 

WHO WE ARE

Making things that matter for People + Planet

“Fashion is not just about style. It has to be about substance and sustainability.”

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, President & Co-Founder of Rags2Riches

Weaving Impact since 2007

Our story begins in a literal garbage site. To be specific, in Payatas, a community with one of the largest dump sites in the Philippines.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, R2R’s President and Co-founder, was visiting Payatas and connected with women in the area. Many of the women were mothers, struggling to feed their families. They’d scour the dumpsites for fabric scraps to weave into simple foot rugs (basahan, in Filipino) and sell on the streets.

Preying on the women’s desperation, middlemen began sourcing fabric scraps from garment factories and selling them to the women at quadruple the price. Despite their raw talent and work ethic, many of the Payatas weavers were living hand to mouth, struggling to get by.

Reese saw an opportunity, not only to create income for the women, but to show the world how talented they are. R2R cut out the middlemen and began connecting the women directly to the garment factories.

But we didn’t stop there. We began partnering with local designers to create high fashion pieces from the women’s weaves. The women no longer had to sell rags in the street. They were now creating wearable art that showcased their talent, craftsmanship, and potential. This not only meant higher wages. It meant a deeper sense of pride, self-worth, and empowerment.

We still work with many of those women in Payatas, but we’ve also come a long way since 2007.
To date, we’ve trained over 1000 community artisans in nine communities across Metro Manila, upcycled thousands of kilograms of textile waste, and we continue to re-invest in communities through our impact programs.

Thank you for weaving joyful stories with us!

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