The artisans of Yndan PH and their products take center stage on their Instagram account. Sewers and weavers are featured alongside the floral clothes hanging on the clothesline, waving and flapping as the wind touches them. At first glance, they seem out of place next to the models frolicking in the open field. But in reality, they are the core of the clothing line. Yndan PH exists because of its artisans.
It began when Gia Remulla visited their farm in Indang, Cavite, during the lockdowns with her mother-in-law, Jip Remulla.
“We found a group of sewers, which was a cooperative of women and one man. They all had different jobs before they came together to form a cooperative so they could find a way to make a livelihood program,” she said.
The Remullas initially thought of donating sewing machines to the cooperative, which they have. But they also wanted to bring the products to the market. That’s how the idea for Yndan was born.
They also discovered that there was a group of weavers in the area. Remulla said that the community of weavers has been there since before the war.
“The weavers of Indang are advanced in their weaving skills and creativity,” she told Lifestyle. They constantly change their design, which makes every product unique and limited.
Remulla has made it her task to keep swatches of the designs that the weavers produce. This is to preserve their designs, ensuring that whoever takes up the art will have a reference in the future.
Yndan PH only has four to five active weavers for now. It’s something Remulla wants to change by reaching out to the youth in the area. Part of her plan is to host a competition and workshops. She hopes that such activities could entice the youth to take up weaving as a livelihood.
“Then our current weavers will become the guardians of the new ones,” she said. The exercise will also see to it that the skill is passed on so the weaving tradition will survive.
First customersRemulla plans for the brand to go international, to take it to Singapore or Hong Kong. One of the first things they did in 2021 was to elevate the skills of the sewers. They invited a family friend, renowned fashion designer Jojie Lloren, to give a two-day workshop.
Through Lloren’s guidance, the attendees learned how to put structure in their clothes and how to pay attention to the little details. They also learned new techniques, such as pressing the fabric first before they start sewing.
The Remullas also sponsored three of their sewers to further study under Lloren. The three are now the main sewers of Yndan PH.
Remulla and her family were the first to model their line. They wore the clothes from the cooperative to different functions and events. Their first customers were their family and friends.
The support system from family was what kept her going, said Remulla. It was difficult to start up a fashion business during the pandemic.
“Anyone would feel like giving up during the pandemic. People naturally wanted to touch the clothes. They wanted to try them on. I felt hopeless back then,” she said. But the initial orders were encouraging, so she forged on.
Luxe line by Lloren“I chose the fabric that you see on our social media pages. I picked them from a local supplier who makes them,” she said. Because the fabric they use is not mass-produced, Yndan PH doesn’t restock the same pieces.
They also started offering the luxury line, which is their collaboration with Lloren. Lloren designed, cut and sewed the designs for them. Some of the pieces have only four to five pieces in stock, while others have only one.
They’ve also introduced silk, which Remulla sourced from India. She used it to make robes because she thought they were perfect for breastfeeding.
“I try to make clothes depending on what point of life I’m in,” she said. The baby clothes started after she gave birth to Diego, now 15 months old. She’s about to give birth to her and her husband Ping’s second child next month. She said the robes feels comfortable, especially if you are breastfeeding.
In all of Yndan PH’s designs, the Indang weaves are present. They are accents on the sleeves or as belts on clothes. They’re what make Yndan PH stand out from other clothing labels.
They’re higher priced compared to what you could get at the mall, but “it’s slow fashion,” she explained. “Everything is made by hand…No two pieces are alike because even if our weavers wanted to, they couldn’t repeat the same design,” she said.
The price reflects the time the artisans put into their work. Their skills and time are the most valuable assets of Yndan.