Handcrafted plant leather goods made from water hyacinth plants from Jacinto & Lirio
The water hyacinth is one of the most damaging aquatic plant worldwide because of its capability to reproduce at an extraordinary rate. Growing up to two meters wide, it reduces light and oxygen, as well as changes water chemistry, and – as a result – affects local flora and fauna.
In fact, the livelihoods of many fishing communities have been greatly affected by the plant – e.g. they encounter marine transportation and irrigation problems; there’s the unwarranted death of fish populations; there’s flooding that force people to evacuate; and some communities experience high rates of water-borne diseases like malaria or dengue.
To deal with the plant, Jacinto & Lirio (which translates to “Hyacinth and Lily”) came into being.
But “not only does J&L serve as a viable environmental, social, and commercial solution to the water hyacinth problem, but also serves as an answer to the Philippines’ poverty and colonial mentality problem as well,” the company said to Kickstart Magazine.
J&L creates “well-designed, functional, and Philippine-inspired plant leather-goods” that “aim 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.”
Products include: restaurant or hotel amenities, office desk accessories, and corporate or promotional giveaways like leather goods, travel accessories, desk accessories, eco-bags, pouches, journals, coasters, and so on.
“Not only are these products of high quality and personalize-able, but they also complement the flare of sustainability and common well-being that local products have to offer,” the company stressed.