unctad.org | Cultural Heritage and Tradition for Sustainable Trade and Development: The role of women in the Creative Industries of the Philippines
Cultural Heritage and Tradition for Sustainable Trade and Development: The role of women in the Creative Industries of the Philippines
07 October 2019
Palais des Nations Unies
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues

Sustainable fashion, through the use of textiles made of organic, natural and recycled fibers, can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable textiles can be hand-loomed or made from rain-fed natural fibers such as organic cotton, silk, piña (pineapple) hemp, jute and bamboo. Production processes in the sustainable fashion industry are non-polluting or less polluting, and often use very little energy other than human creativity, talent, and skills. In addition to using natural materials, sustainable fashion highlights local identities and cultures, ethnically as well as ethically.

A good example of how cultural heritage and tradition can provide opportunities for value addition and product differentiation that can generate important economic gains domestically and internationally is the case of the Philippines’ fashion and art crafts (which includes hand-woven and needlework rugs, embroidery among others). The Philippines have capitalized on their culture, creativity and natural resources to nurture a silk yarn and woven fabric industry that supports a growing textiles and clothing industry. The value added of the Phillippe’s textiles and clothing industry stood at $US 1.89bn in 2016, which represented a 36% increase in value compared with 2000.1 The Philippines is one of the leading exporters of creative goods among developing countries. The Philippine’s creative goods exports stood at $US 915 million in 2014, with fashion goods exports accounting for $US 279 million, while art crafts exports stood at $ US162 million in the same year. 

Exhibition and Workshop

Using a unique production method originating from traditional folk craft, the Philippines has developed a piña-seda cloth that is considered one of the finest fabrics in the world. Following ancestral methods, women and now also men are engaged in weaving and embroidery, particularly in the north and central Philippines. The exhibition and workshop showcase this ancestral creative industry.​


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Co-organized with: Mission of Philippines
Sponsor / funding: Mission of Philippines
Language(s):English; English;
Contact:Ms. Marisa Henderson, Chief, Creative Economy Programme
Related Sites:
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