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ArteFino: The Economics of Being Socially Conscious

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Updated on September 15, 2022

There’s a reason why the world’s biggest shopping malls are in the country. Fondly called “the national pastime,” shopping has become a constant–an easy means for escape and a tangible way to affirm your hard work.

But in a world that’s increasingly becoming more conscious (or ‘woke’ in modern parlance) and two years into the pandemic, things have changed.

More and more businesses are slapped with the reality check that the rising demographic of consumers now check the labels, look at the reviews, and post about their experiences online.
And as more and more businesses sober up to this new reality of conscious consumerism, more and more invest in sustainable projects.

The rise of CSR


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gone from a simple gesture of billionaires to a business imperative; from merely philanthropic endeavors or one-time dole-outs to communities in need to more sustainable and impactful initiatives. Today, CSR programs are the backbone of corporate goodwill, and can also make or break a brand’s marketing strategy.

It started as early as the 1800s when American business stalwarts Andrew Carnegie (US Steel) and John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil) donated more than half a billion dollars to social causes. But it wasn’t until the 1940s when CSR became more than a personal conscience project as businesses–and not their owners or shareholders–could support charities. What does this mean for businesses and consumers of the digital age?

It could mean everything.

According to a global online study by Nielsen, millennials are more likely to pay extra for eco-friendly products, while respondents aged 15-20, known as Gen Z, are also willing to pay more for products and services made by companies that have a positive social and environmental impact.
Ethical shopping is on the rise with the power given to the consumers: the power to ask, the power to demand, and the power to know what these businesses stand for.

Conscious consumerism


Do you try to research on the things you buy and the companies behind these products? Are your purchasing decisions based on a personal principle or value that you uphold? These are just some questions that conscious consumerism, an increasingly evident consumer mindset, is trying to instill as a means to combat a world driven by capitalism.

Becoming a conscious consumer doesn’t happen overnight. In a lot of ways, it’s a constant struggle. It asks for effort – privilege even, to make positive decisions during the buying process. Choosing fair trade chocolate (which probably costs more) over your usual chocolate bar, supporting a local furniture maker, or sourcing your materials from suppliers who practice sustainable methods are just some examples.

Security Bank continues its support for the ArteFino Festival. Aligned with its mission to enrich lives, empower businesses, and build communities sustainably through financial service excellence, Security Bank has partnered with ArteFino for the last three years. This year’s festival theme of Renew, Repurpose, and Regenerate underscores the Bank’s and the ArteFino community’s efforts to empower Filipino artisans and sustainable businesses that honor craft, culture, and conscious living.

The heart of ArteFino


Some businesses have even taken strides to not just marry businesses and CSR, but to instill the spirit of CSR to the very core of the business.

Such has been the case for ArteFino, a craft fair created by five visionary women with a passion for art, culture, and social entrepreneurship. More than just your usual fair, ArteFino prides itself with its close partnership with the businesses, patrons, and the communities that they support.
Here, conscious consumerism is more than just giving a buyer the better choice – it’s about giving them an honest, informed choice. ArteFino Festival 2022 is a launch pad for new brands and designers. Here are just some of them:

ANTHILL, the winner of the ArteFino Modern Filipino Award in 2019, works with weaving communities across the country as well as local designers and businesses, to transform traditional fabrics into modern stylish pieces. Anthill’s mission is to keep weaving traditions alive and provide a means of livelihood for these often-forgotten communities.

AIRE is a menswear label from Creative Definitions’ growing umbrella of mindful, proudly Filipino lifestyle brands. It’s borne out of a desire to fill the gap in Philippine fashion for timeless, elegant garments made especially for the modern-day gentleman. Utilizing handwoven pina cotton fabrics, AIRE pieces make up a sustainable, well-rounded wardrobe for the quintessential Filipino man.

NUEVO YSTILO is on a journey to redefine traditional Philippine dress. Apart from modernizing the Filipiniana in a multitude of ways–as a top, cocktail dress or cape–the brand also highlights the use of local fabrics like silk cocoon and pina callado. The brand’s body of work since 2016, combined formal and casual dressing with distinctive local flair.

KATHA PILIPINAS is a creative social enterprise that provides Filipino artist-entrepreneurs with a platform for showcasing their work. The company endeavors to leave a positive social impact on communities by empowering makers and artisans in the categories of fashion, accessories, furniture and self-care. Artists, designers, and brands make up Katha’s curated product offering include: AMV Artworks, Juan Ekis, Pinky Lizares, Eda Bcd, Astro Pringles, Jonathan Guillermo, and Happy Andrada.

PINAS SADYA is a lifestyle brand that opens up conversations around Philippine culture, craft, and heritage. Its product range includes kimono ponchos, jackets, scarves and matching sets all designed to highlight local design and workmanship. Their designs are bold and visually exciting, and lends something fresh and new to everyday dressing.

Check out the full list of participating brands and designers at the ArteFino website

You’ll meet people, hear their stories, and learn more about what it takes to create products that come from a place of compassion, mission, and purpose. ArteFino opened its doors on August 25 and will run until September 28 at R1 level Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. Watch out for the Totally Upcycled Challenge that aims to turn “everyday” trash into everyday “extraordinary” objects whether it is fashion, home, accessories, etc.

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