From harmful to fashionable: The Jacinto & Lirio story

From harmful to fashionable: The Jacinto & Lirio story

Written by Gelene Peñalosa and Lyshiel Aranal on April 13th, 2021 for Inquirer POP. Find the original article here.


(Editor’s Note): Small businesses play an important role in our economy because they provide opportunities for our local entrepreneurs, as well as sustainable and meaningful livelihood for many of their hired workforce. This is why the editorial team of POP! will be actively featuring small businesses to give them the marketing push they need to reach a wider audience. Let’s help our local entrepreneurs bounce back this year!

Among the many sustainable products that are proudly produced in the Philippines, Jacinto & Lirio stands out for transforming an inconvenience into something beneficial – both to society and the environment. 

Water hyacinths are known to be the world’s most damaging aquatic plant species, with its ability to reproduce and proliferate at a rapid pace which causes harm to rivers, lakes, and local flora and fauna. The abundance of these water hyacinths, also known as water lilies, has always caused problems for communities living near freshwater rivers and lakes, whose livelihoods heavily rely on these waters.

The effects of these troubles to communities in Las Piñas, Pampanga and Laguna, as well as observed efforts by the Department of Trade and Industry led to the creation of Jacinto & Lirio. 

Water hyacinths Jacinto & LirioTranslating to “Hyacinth and Lily”, this company aims to be seen as a practical environmental, social, and productive solution to the difficulties posed by water hyacinths, as well as an answer and remedy to the Philippines’ deep-rooted problems of poverty and colonial mentality. 

As stated in their website, Jacinto & Lirio “aims to improve the lives of people from both ends of the spectrum – the water hyacinth communities who are empowered through meaningful work, and the people purchasing who are enriched by the eco-friendly products” through the creation and production of skillfully made, functional, and Philippine-inspired plant leather-goods.

Jacinto and Lirio products made with water hyacinths

Jacinto & Lirio transforms an aquatic plant seen as a pest into high-quality and fashionable products that can be used in restaurant or hotel services, office desk accessories, and corporate or promotional goodies. Their product catalog ranges from leather goods and accessories, down to lifestyle necessities such as eco-bags, journals, and pouches, and a lot more – all made from sustainable materials like the water hyacinth. 

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