EEN_characterI like handicrafts ‘beary’ much because handmade products give me a warm feeling. Producers’ warm hearts, hard work, creativity, local traditions – I can see and feel all those things through their handmade products. In this section, I will introduce various handicrafts businesses that I found all over the world. Those who make unique handicrafts are (Be) Empowered with Available Resources. Let’s BEAR!

1. Ethical Bags from Kenya

Look at this bag! Guess where it is from. It was sold at a department store in Tokyo, but it was made in Kenya. The colorful small triangular frills generate an exotic atmosphere. Those frills are made of traditional African women’s dresses which are not used any more.

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2. Japanese Kimono is Reincarnated!

Hair Accessories
In Kyoto, which is the ancient capital of Japan, there are a lot of temples and shrines. This area has attracted a lot of tourists both from in and out of Japan. Japanese people used to wear kimono in their daily life. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Westernization of their lifestyles rapidly spread throughout Japan. Due to the influence of Western culture, more people came to wear Western clothes, and fewer people chose kimono.

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3. Let’s “UP-cycle” Garbage into Beautiful Products!

Ms. Editha C. Santiago
In 1997, Ms. Editha C. Santiago, an energetic woman, who was conscious of environmental issues and women’s empowerment, launched an organization called KILUS Foundation in Ugon, Pasig City, Philippines. Prior to the establishment of the foundation, she had been involved in the “clean and green” program with about 20 women in the community. The program was implemented by the local government, where her husband used to work. In the program, she headed an informal group of 20 women, and did cleaning in the community, collecting garbage, plastic bottles, cans, and old newspapers.

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4. What to Do with Old Magazines and Newspapers?

In 2008, 10 female members of a multi-purpose cooperative with a membership of about 1,600 in Valenzuela, which is located in the suburbs of Manila, Philippines, started to make rosaries out of plastic beads. A rosary is a chain of beads with a cross at the center. Catholics use rosaries, grasping them around their wrists when they pray. Those 10 female members used to make rosaries only for themselves, not to sell.

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