In this rapidly changing world, it’s not enough to simply showcase attractive, trendy, and functional products.
Kultura is proud to be among those consciously promoting more sustainable, meaningfully-crafted and locally- sourced merchandise for green living. With a loyal following and many branches across the country, Kultura takes their mission to building a greener Philippines seriously.
Kultura President Ivy Yap expounds, “Retailers can influence customer purchasing decisions depending on our product offerings, pricing strategies and promotions—from product displays to discounts and loyalty programs. Using this influence for good, Kultura helps consumers adopt greener lifestyles by offering a wide selection of products that are made from natural materials that are biodegradable, upcycled or repurposed, aside from being locally sourced.”
Today, the Kultura store is stocked to the brim with Green Finds that make it easier for customers to lead a sustainable lifestyle.
Platform with a Purpose
Kultura, an SM Retail Affiliate, has been key to advocating Green Finds– products that are sustainably sourced and support local communities.
SM through Kultura, has become a Platform for the growth of MSMEs. Millie Monday and Haspe are two Filipino retail brands that have been engaged with Kultura and grateful for how Kultura has been an effective incubator for their respective enterprises.
Mariel Ching of Millie Monday relates how this division of their Primex printing company was named after their mother, and how it specializes in merging art and print technology to create functional paper-related products and accessories for the home. “It was borne out of the pandemic as regular printing jobs vanished, and the family had to find ways to diversify our output, and keep our personnel and machines occupied.”
Today, Millie Monday has expanded its product lines, to include other non-paper products. Thanks to Kultura, Mariel was happy to report that bulk orders, and outright purchases from foreign countries like Singapore and Tokyo, have transpired. Their collaborations with established artists produce collections that are very well-received, and they credit Kultura for helping create awareness and goodwill for their brand.
On the sustainability features of the Millie Monday brand, Mariel spoke about their sustainably sourced paper, and soy-based ink, as well as their Heidelberg offset machine, acquired with a proviso that involved planting trees in Africa. “We are the only Asian printer given the Green Leaf Award by Kodak in 2019. We don’t print on tarp, as it isn’t biodegradable.”
Haspe is the Spanish/Filipino word for wood grain, and it’s a clue to the world of Baliwag, Bulacan native Arch. Eric Gonzales, who designs and creates the wonderful wood-based products and accessories that have caught the eye of shoppers that frequent CITEM, FAME and ArteFino fairs. “Our ‘sungka’, and chess board, made of mahogany wood and solihiya (rataan weaving), are among our signature products”.
As Haspe has no Metro Manila showroom, Eric credits Kultura for being invaluable in terms of brand awareness. “We started off in 2016 with big traditional furniture pieces, and was inspired in 2019 to make use of the excess wood, and design smaller pieces.” He expanded to incorporate rattan, bone inlay, and other locally sourced materials. The wood he uses are sustainably farmed in Mindanao.
Sustainability comes easy to Haspe as the products are a form of up-cycling, since the wood utilized to create these products come from ‘retasos’, or leftover materials, that would have been thrown away. Haspe’s products have become the pride of Baliwag, Bulacan.
For both Millie Monday and Haspe, the sustainable aspects of how they operate their businesses are givens, as they acknowledge the need for being more responsible entrepreneurs.
While they’ve been involved with Kultura for less than a year, they both credit their engagement with Kultura as godsends, and are pleased to be placed under the umbrella of Green Finds.
Being sustainable and green conscious is a collective effort, from the manufacturers and the retailers, all the way to the consumers; and SM is happy to be driving the education, awareness and marketing of this new consciousness.
“By educating customers about the importance of sustainability and providing easy access to mindfully-crafted merchandise, we aim to promote changes in our customers’ behaviors and move them to lead more eco-conscious lifestyles. We hope our efforts inspire other businesses and lead to the adoption of more eco-friendly practices in the retail industry, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable future for the country,” says Yap.