Charles & Keith partners with local brand Woven to benefit local women weavers

Did you know that international fashion brand CHARLES & KEITH recently released a capsule collection of Pinoy-made hand-woven products? Through its collaboration with Woven, a Philippine-based social enterprise, it produced a special capsule collection inspired by the theme “Empowering Women of Tomorrow.” This collection consists of four unique products – a tote bag, a circle top handle bag, a clutch and a pouch – all made of banig, dried grass and dyed palm leaves that are handwoven by skilled artisans based in Basey, Samar. For every product sold from the collection, 20% of the net sales would be donated to the weavers of Woven.

Charles & Keith x Woven

This partnership is part of a movement to provide women with vital skills to better their lives and give them a voice in their communities. Through this partnership, CHARLES & KEITH is continuing its efforts to achieve the vision of a world that is free from gender discrimination, inequality and violence. Woven, on the other hand, will be able to continue providing skills and leadership training to the women in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of young women to continue the craft.

Charles & Keith x Woven

Trish Lim, co-founder and CEO of Woven, sees the partnership as a way for local women to be able to carry on the tradition of weaving in their communities.

“It’s wonderful to see women use their talents, skills and knowledge to create opportunities for other women and make their lives better.” she shares.

The partnership also enables Woven’s weavers to feel empowered from having a sustainable source of livelihood that allows them provide three meals a day and education for their children.

Charles & Keith x Woven

The CHARLES & KEITH capsule collection for International Women’s Day 2019 has been available on CHARLESKEITH.COM—excluding the UK, EU and Japan markets since March 7.

Fashion entrepreneurs, Charles & Keith Wong founded CHARLES & KEITH in 1996 upon identifying the potential of footwear designs catered for eastern women. CHARLES & KEITH is the go-to fashion destination for stylish urbanites, recognized for its desirable fashion and curated collections of relevant designs. With women as the central focus, the brand has developed a full-fledged line of footwear, bags, eyewear, accessories and costume jewelry. Pushing forward four brand values: Experimental, Desirable, Curated and Modernity, the brand aims to celebrate women and inspire fashion and beauty every day. CHARLES & KEITH extends beyond brick-and-mortar with online shopping CHARLESKEITH.COM, making the brand available through the United States of America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

As a social enterprise that aims to uplift the lives of artisans in the Philippines, Woven strives to work directly with crafts communities to create products that bring value to their work, their lives, and cultural traditions. It started in the town of Basey, Samar after it was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda. While doing research and area development plans there, the founders came upon the banig weavers who created beautiful mats made from tikog and buri. With the help of various NGOs, the enterprise organized the artisans into community craft associations, maneuvered an increase in the industry price of banigs, and raised individual incomes by more than double. Ultimately, Woven aims to craft better opportunities for empowered craftsmen and women, for their families, and for the next weaving generations.

Details and images provided by Woven in a recent press release.

Social Enterprise Drives First Harvest Nut Spreads

I discovered two new nut spreads while I was shopping for baking supplies at one of my happy places, All About Baking in SM City East Ortigas: First Harvest’s Coco Sugar Peanut Spread and Peanut Crunch with Rice Pops. At first, I was attracted to their packaging: it looks quite premium and artisanal. Upon closer inspection, I was happy to discover that First Harvest is a homegrown brand.

First Harvest Peanut Butter

The production and sales of First Harvest’s offerings provide employment and skills development to the mothers in the Gawad Kalinga village in Angat, Bulacan. All ingredients used in the products are grown or sourced locally and prepared into these artisanal nut butters using traditional methods, and without the use of artificial preservatives. Furthermore, the enterprise’s profits also helps fund college scholarships for local youth.

Being a peanut butter aficionado, I just knew I had to try these out. The variants below are the ones stocked at my nearest All About Baking outlet.

Coco Sugar Peanut Spread (Php160/250g)

First Harvest Peanut Butter

First Harvest Peanut Butter

It has a smooth and creamy texture that spreads well and evenly on white bread, perfect for my son who likes his peanut butter just so. Churned with less oil and made using coco sugar as sweetener, it is a relatively healthier nut spread at 50 calories per 2 tbsp serving.

Ingredients: Peanuts, Coco Sugar, Canola Oil, Iodized Salt

Peanut Crunch with Rice Pops (Php170/250g)

First Harvest Peanut Butter

First Harvest Peanut Butter

I prefer some texture in my nut butters so this crunchy variant is a winner for me. Sweetened with honey and made crunchy with pinipig bits, it goes well with wheat bread. The additions that give it a sweeter taste and a popping crunchy texture do take their toll however; a 2 tbsp serving is at 170 calories (but it was worth it!).

Ingredients: Peanuts, Rice Pops, Canola Oil, Iodized Salt

These nut spreads are of high quality, comparable to imported products that I have tried recently. I had to expend some effort to remix the nut spreads before applying them to my toasts due the separation of the oil from the rest of the mixture. I didn’t mind, though. That’s the consequence of not using artificial stabilizers, etc.

First Harvest Peanut Butter

And since the products are made with much love by the nanays of a rural community, I wouldn’t mind supporting them by regularly buying First Harvest nut butters so I can help spread the love to my family. (I even hounded the staff of All About Baking to inform me of when they restock their First Harvest Peanut Crunch.)

If you like peanut butter whether as a spread or as an ingredient for your culinary masterpieces, do give First Harvest a try.

I’m looking forward to trying out the original First Harvest Peanut Butter (the one sweetened by honey instead of coco sugar) and the brand’s Salted Coco Caramel (a twist to my childhood’s classic coco jam).


Address: GK Enchanted Farm California Street, Brgy. Encanto Angat, Bulacan Philippines 3012

Mobile: +63 90538-24447

Instagram: @firstharvest

Twitter: @firstharvestph

Facebook: FirstHarvestFoods


Elait’s Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at the Ayala Museum

My daughter #ExhibitA and I took advantage of the Ayala Museum’s #InspireEveryday campaign and were able to score free admission to the museum and the Filipinas Heritage Library.

After roaming the museum’s various exhibits across three floors and the library at the sixth floor, we rewarded our art and culture-driven physical exertions with some happiness in a cup – artisanal rolled ice cream – at the pop-up store of Elait at the museum’s ground floor.

Rolled ice cream or stir-fried ice cream is also known as “I-Tim-Pad” in Thailand where it was first popularized as a street food.  It is made by pouring the ice cream base onto a steel plate chilled to below freezing, mixed with fruit, coffee, chocolate or other flavorings.  The mixture is chopped and stirred using a metal spatula as it crystallizes, spread flat across the metal plate, then carefully scraped off to form stiff rolls.  The rolls are then arranged on cups then topped with fresh fruit, candy, nuts and other garnishes.

Available variants in the pop up store consist of classic favorites like Chocolate Overload and Blueberry Cheesecake, and exciting new combinations such Mango Kiwi Pavlova and Chocnut Dinosaur.

ExhibitA opted for Blueberry Cheesecake, which evolved from a splat of ingredients on the metal plate to a grand masterpiece.

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Being a chocoholic, I opted for Chocolate Overload which took shape right before my eyes.

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

These frozen treats were prepared and served by Elait’s deaf-mute partners who received our order using their very efficient order form and whom we thanked using basic sign language.

And by following Elait on Instagram, we were able to score additional toppings for our rolled ice cream!

Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

Elait’s rolled ice cream are simply decadent and a break from the usual dessert offerings which made our mother-daughter bonding time even more enjoyable!

The nearest Elait store can be found at Second Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City.  Other branches are located at:

  • Third Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
  • Second Floor, North Wing, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Third Floor, Santolan Town Plaza, Col Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City

Elait Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post contains affiliate links.

Want to make rolled ice cream at home?  Check out these nifty kitchen gadgets on

Ice roll pan Ice cream, Instant Ice Cream Maker 

Chef’n Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker, Lagoon Color

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