In 2007, on a chance surfing vacation in the Surigao province of the Philippines, New York based Filipino – American designer Melissa Dizon discovered and fell in love with the culture of her country…It was the missing link she was looking for after spending years on a hectic fashion career that brought her to places all over the world.
The deep respect she cultivated for the environment since she took up surfing, combined with her fascination with what the Philippines had to offer – in terms of materials, tribal processes, and the people themselves – gave birth to what she called Eairth: the coming together of the elements of earth and air.
Dizon uses natural colors derived from indigenous leaves, barks, and plants, and other local sources, and applied them on organic fibers, such as pi–a, abaca, silk, cotton, and wool, that were then hand-woven using old-style looms. Sourcing crude materials from various local tribes, as well as employing her own teams of colorists, seamstresses, embroiderers, and artisans, Melissa ensures through careful research that Eairth maintains processes that have been handed down through the generations, while of course allowing her workers their creative flourishes.
The effect is that not only is the business sustainable, with a fair trade system in place, but no two items – among the many variations of jeans, tops, dresses, scarves, and bags – are identical.
And since inspiration from everything in the Philippines is combined with Dizon’s street aesthetic, the pieces come into their own as a unique and modern expression of what is Filipino.