How BASCAS Handmade Turned the Carpet of Dreams to an Artistic Accessory
By Jonquil Dun
What used to be seen a staple carry-all favourite of grannies is now an international sensation especially among the handicraft collectors, and is becoming a luxury. Meet the pandan bag or colloquially known as “bayong”.
The weaving itself is called “banig” as it usually woven for the purpose as the locals call it “the carpet of dreams” as it had put to sleep too many a generation.
Bayong bags are made from handwoven dried leaf strips of Pandanus tectorius and Pandanus simplex that are endemic to the Philippines. Out of the 48 variety of Pandan plant that grows in the country, these two are the most commonly used for weaving as their leaves are longer and sturdier when fully matured.
Recently, the tote bags made from this became canvasses of Filipino artists and are featured in several international exhibits. The bag became a personalized item that can double as a work of art and a stylish functional bag.
Bascas Handmade is one of the newest brands of hand crafted bags which, just like their contemporaries, also features an acrylic hand painting by local artists. But what sets Bascas apart from other pandan bags in the market is their mission to be a sustainable and responsible brand that will take care of the environment and serve the community.
Pandan bag production are highly sustainable as they provide more income to farmers and weavers who rely only on the product for years. New techniques were introduced to the manufacturers and thus improve their skills and output. It is also eco-friendly for it leaves zero waste and Bascas makes sure that at least 95 percent of the material used is biodegradable.
Founded during the height of the pandemic in 2020 last year, Bascas saw the urgency to help those who are badly affected and put their focus on prioritizing on improving the lives of marginalized members of the society such as the handicapped and out- of- school youths by providing them trainings on painting and weaving so that they can earn good income.
Their debut collection “Once Upon a time in Bohemia” which appeared in the Philippines first virtual modest fashion show evokes a nostalgic feel of the 60’s and island holidays, with giant monsteras, palms, flowers and girls in an arresting combination of colours, sold hundreds of pieces in Europe and America.
One of their best-selling totes are ones that have the Pop Art girl ensembles.
These pandan bags, unlike other materials, are sleek and lightweight. It also has a good smell too!
This is just the beginning for Bascas Handmade. While there is a great demand and appreciation for more handmade products, Bascas Handmade have more to offer. We can’t wait for their next collection.
Check out BASCAS HANDMADE here