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What ‘sustainable’ means for this weaving community

Lilia Narca, 57, has been weaving since she was eight. Coming from a family of weavers, she lives in Argao, a municipality three hours away from Cebu City that has had a rich traditional heirloom weaving culture since the 19th century.

Narca’s weaving has also woven her life, community, and family. While the craft gives her a source of income, allows her to uplift her family, and increases her social mobility, weaving extends beyond its economic function for it is part of her identity as a Filipino artisan and a woman.

“Because of this craft, I was able to buy a refrigerator, which makes it easier for me to store pork and fish, and that makes me very happy," Narca said in Cebuano. "I’m a proud weaver because it helps me contribute to my family. I enjoy the process of weaving and the designs I learn along the way."

She is one of the community weavers of ANTHILL Fabric, a sustainable fashion enterprise that employs and trains weavers while celebrating Filipino cultural heritage. ANTHILL has been working with various weaving communities across the country for over 10 years now.