Best in Business Awards 2023

Best Sustainable Handbags Manufacturer - 2023 When Sekiya Satomi witnessed firsthand the situation of local women in the Philippines looking for work but unable to find employment, she decided to develop a way for women to earn an income and be independent through bag making. In the years since, Sekiya has taught local women crocheting skills from scratch, beginning with the basics, such as how to hold a crochet hook. After building trust and a relationship with these women, the quality of the work began to improve to such a considerable extent, that by 2012 the products were being sold under the Sulci brand name. It was Sulci that introduced the use of Raffia for crocheting with a crochet hook, as previously it had only been used for weaving in traditional circles. This method allowed the freedom of working from home, relieving the requirement for a factory space or machinery. Through its creative process, Sulci has paved the way for Filipino women to be confident in their abilities and independent to create a society. Everyone working for Sulci is allowed to share their hopes and dreams and encouraged to reach their full potential. The positive message that Sulci continues to reinforce is that women in developing nations have a great deal to offer society, and the possibilities of what they can achieve are endless. In the Sulci workshop located in Carcar City, on Cebu, close to fifty women living in neighbouring areas work as crocheters. Each woman can crochet bags at her own pace and is given the chance to hone their skills daily. In 2015, this was extended to female inmates at Carcar City prison, who would make bags and send the money they earned to their children. Furthermore, Sulci has been hosting a design contest for its workers since 2014, providing the top five designers with money and prizes, as an incentive to dream big and increase creativity. Sulci also hosts a fashion show, where crocheters appear on stage as models carrying the bags they crafted. Money is also set aside and donated to the Sulci Fund, which is used for medical care of the crocheters, school expenses of children, and future construction projects. Sulci inc. are a company specialising in crafting handmade bags from the local raw material raffia in Cebu, Philippines. The bags are crafted by local women, all of whom are provided training and a workplace. Eco-friendly, ethical crafting techniques are used in every stage of the process, and the bags are sold on the company website and in a range of department stores. We speak with Sekiya Satomi, a Sulci representative whose journey to the Philippines in 2010 kickstarted the whole operation. Aug23389 The bags Sulci produce are carefully crocheted and of the highest quality, with the local raw materials used benefiting the environment and helping contribute to the creation of an ecological and sustainable society. In the Philippines, raffia predominantly grows in colonies, and with an abundance of these trees, employment opportunities are created through harvesting. Raffia has a lot of benefits for crafting, with its durability, flexibility, and lightness providing such stylish and unique designs, Sulci bags are being sold in department stores across Tokyo. Each bag is accompanied by a round message tag signed by the person who made it, and customers can send a message back free of charge. For the Japanese customer, it lets them know who has made their bag, and for the crocheter, it is a delight to receive a message complementing their work. In addition to bags, Sulci offer custom orders for products such as cushion covers, hats, stuffed toys, and brooches, to name just a few. The future at Sulci is set to be bright, with plans to expand first into the rest of Asia, before possibly looking at tackling European and American markets, as well as Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia and New Zealand. Plans to extend the workshop, increase production, and hire more Filipino women are in place, and the team aspire to one day collaborate with major fashion brands such as Prada or Chanel. Taking steps in order to achieve this, Sekiya is actively making prototypes and samples, and an upcoming range of colour bags which incorporate embroidery and beadwork designs that have been passed down through the generations is sure to make major fashion labels stand up and take notice of the fantastically unique bags Sulci produce. Contact Details Contact: Sekiya Satomi Company: Sulci inc. Web Address: