LAKAT SUSTAINABLES: From The Fields To The Style Streets

Launched in 2021 by enviro-social entrepreneurs, Mike and Banj Claparols, LAKAT Sustainables is a conscious sneaker brand dedicated to promoting the use of eco-friendly, ethically-sourced and produced local materials: hand-woven pineapple and cotton fabrics. 

THE FOUNDERS STORY

LAKAT SUSTAINABLES: From The Fields To The Style Streets

LAKAT’s founders are prime movers of sustainable design in the Philippines. They begin: “LAKAT Sustainable Sneakers came to be as a product of moving things together, and it involved many people to make it happen. The brand was a hub wheel of vision, supported by spokes of people who believed that anything was possible.” Collaborators involved in developing the LAKAT brand and its inaugural sneakers included: CITEM, DTI, DOST-PTRI and communities of farmers from Negros and Mindanao. 

Since 2008, Mike and Banj Claparols of Creative Definitions have dedicated themselves to providing world-class Negrense products. Through the parent company, and now with LAKAT, they’ve endeavored to continuously innovate and open more opportunities for local producers, communities and suppliers.  

It was in 2017 when both visionaries shifted their business model to become an enviro-social enterprise. They partnered with various weaving communities in Negros Island as a means for achieving long-term sustainability for both the parent company and its partner producers. In their journey towards sustainability, they calibrated and adopted conscious practices within the supply such as the use of indigenous natural materials and implementation fair trader. Foundations for creative collaborations were also laid down, allowing them to innovate while still paying tribute to time honored traditions and values. 

LAKAT as a brand name was homage to to the Illonggo roots that bore the concept and its products. The founders elaborate, “Handloom weavers of the fabrics, source of the fibers and the way of life of the people of Negros are valuable elements that made LAKAT what it is today.”

TECH MEETS TRADITION

The foundations that led to LAKAT’s birth were first set in place when founders of the brand first connected with the DOST-PTRI, also in 2017. This meeting of the minds introduced Mike and Banj to sustainable textile technologies through the agency’s Technology Business Innovation Program, which enabled them to learn the capability to pre treat the pineapple and cotton fibers and convert them into the fabrics used in the LAKAT sneakers. 

Ultimately, this partnership played an integral role in the establishment of a viable business model where environment, economy, innovation and community development could truly co-exist and thrive. They add, “The ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable value chain.”

LAKAT SUSTAINABLES: From The Fields To The Style Streets

LAKAT EXPLAINED

LAKAT Sneakers are 100% Philippine-made using sustainable materials. Informed by the parent company’sethos, the production of each sneaker leaves a positive socio-economic impact on local weavers and farmers in Negros and Mindanao. It also supports the livelihood of those involved in the supply chain, inspiring a new model for a truly sustainable value chain.

Pineapple fibers used in making LAKAT shoes are sourced from discarded leaves typically thrown after harvesting pineapples. Extraction is made using solar powered energy, which ultimately equates to a lower carbon footprint.Pineapple and cotton fibers are water repellant, and hand-woven by Kabanklan weavers of Negros. Insoles are made using 100% non woven pineapple fabric, while outsoles are produced using rubber locally farmed in Mindanao. To further reduce waste, soles are mixed with pineapple cotton fibers discarded from the yarn spinning process.

Limited runs of each style align with the brand’s efforts to minimize waste and honor weaving traditions of its makers. Pre orders are welcomed, with lead times of about two months under normal conditions. Michael explains, “Since this is an artisanal product, it takes time to extract the fibers, hand weave the fabric and hand assemble intofinished sneakers. That’s why stocks are made available in batches. In the interim, we are open to pre orders.”

Designs and color ways of LAKAT sneakers are inspired by ever-evolving sensibilities of street style. Neither trendy nor traditional, these sustainable sneakers break free from design conventions and expectations, emphasizing ideals of sustainability as today’s universal style standard.

Join LAKAT from the fields to the style streets, follow us on IG @lakatsustainables and FB: LAKAT. For more details, feel free to contact us through 0917-874-5868 or creativedefinitions@gmail.com.

One thought on “LAKAT SUSTAINABLES: From The Fields To The Style Streets

  1. Warmest congratulations to Mike and Banj, and Creative Definitions! Sustainability is just a word. Visionaries make it happen and they likewise have to be sustained and supported. Let’s put our money into helping make ideas like sustainability, happen for real.

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