Philippine Social Enterprise, Rags2Riches, Expands Into North America
A social enterprise born of altruism, Rags2Riches is by heart, a Filipino endeavour. The brainchild of 2018 Gen T honouree, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches, or R2R, is a thirteen-year-old fashion and design house that offers customers one-of-a-kind products, all of which are made by local artisans.
Each of R2R's offerings exhibits a flair for the Filipino — be it in their bags, their clothes, or even their homeware. Reese, who grew up along the streets of Quiapo, had intended for her brand to showcase the talent of local creators while uplifting them both financially and emotionally. “It [poverty] is a complex, multi-dimensional, and multi-faceted problem that requires a multitude of equally complex solutions,” Reese explains. “We cannot be overly simplistic about it. What we need are more heads that are dedicated to developing solutions—the more brainpower we have, the more chances of winning.”
So while a single brand cannot completely eradicate poverty, R2R does its part to help each individual artisan under their wing.
More From Tatler: Make Your Own Purse With Rags2Riches
This year, R2R reaches a new milestone just in time for Filipino American Heritage Month. In partnership with Canadian ethical retailer, Cambio & Co., R2R is expanding its market presence to serve online buyers in Canada and the United States. Shoppers within those areas can now avail of unique and eco-ethical fashion, all of which are made out of upcycled and overstock fabric. All products will be shipped from Canada so shoppers (and fellow kababayans abroad!) can now receive their orders much quicker.
“Building this online store would allow us to continue creating livelihood opportunities for artisans from the Philippines while making things that matter to our advocates from North America," Reese says.
R2R's online shop is already up and has been as of 1 October 2020. The decision to launch into North American retail amid the Covid-19 crisis is an intentional stratagem that aims to bring Filipino issues closer to those living abroad; it was also done in an effort to continuously support the livelihood of artisan communities whose businesses have been affected by the crisis.
Read also: 7 Local Brands For Your Sustainable Living Plan
To learn more about the cause, you may visit their website.