So many livelihoods are affected by pandemic. Among these are the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who aren’t able to sell their products because of community restrictions and lockdowns. 

These MSMEs, particularly entrepreneurs who manufacture local, indigenous, and artisanal products, now have access to an online store where they can sell their products.

To help these MSMEs and indigenous people market their artisanal products online, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched the National Arts and Crafts Fair (NACF) Artisanal Shop.

The NACF Artisanal Shop, which can be accessed here, is a one-stop online hub for products that are selected with the consumer in mind. The online platform features wardrobe staples such as: neckties, scarves, earrings, and woven fabric face masks; home accessories such as baskets, planters, and pillowcases; trinkets and gifts for any occasion; snacks and wine; and an array of teas best paired with honey from the Philippine Forest Honey Network.

The online shop features the finest collection of authentic and intricately designed heritage crafts by the IPs, local weavers, and artisans from 17 community-partners from all over the Philippines.

“The online NACF Artisanal Shop will give broader market access both locally and globally to the products of our artisanal communities. This, in turn, will create employment opportunities that will provide decent income for our people and support our poverty alleviation efforts,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

“With the accelerated adoption of ecommerce during the pandemic, DTI is also increasing its efforts to promote the digitalization of our MSMEs. This will serve as a means to secure sustainable practices and livelihood that will also ensure inclusivity in our communities, especially those in far-flung areas,” the trade chief added.

Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, who has been supportive of the NACF, said that the “online fair is timely and may be a venue that can be used to empower our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid this pandemic, where they can continue to showcase their local products.”

The NACF Artisanal Shop is being launched through the DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (DTI-BDTP) with the support of the DTI Regional and Provincial Offices and in partnership with CustomMade Crafts Center, Inc. (CMCC). 

CMCC was started by the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program Philippines (NTFP-EP Philippines) as a collaborative network of non-government and community-based organizations that empower forest-dependent communities.This year, CMCC has curated artisanal products from its partner communities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

The CMCC advocates for safe environmental practices, research, and sets top quality standards for the production of products such as honey, textiles, and natural dyes.

Further, with the rise in demand for products that contribute to safer practices for the industry, the Philippine Textile Research Institute has been working with CMCC towards slow fashion that encourages consumers to invest in well-made and lasting clothes. Every bespoke piña formal attire, everyday wear, or new product using indigenous fabrics not only makes for a statement piece but also carries the stories of hard work and ingenuity of Filipino artisans.