I have always had a passion for fabrics. Not just any fabrics, but the organic, indigenous kinds with their rich textures and their even richer stories, each woven by the wisest of hands. I am passionate about the fabrics that emerge like gifts from the earth-those borne out of the careful blend of fibers taken from our natural resources, resources like pineapple, abaca and banana. I am enthralled and excited by the possibility that each one brings.
My name is Ditta Sandico, and I am a proud Filipina designer.
I subscribe to the belief that fashion equates to so much more than just glam and glitter. It is not the finished products alone that matter. Fashion, at its heart, boils down to the more basic things- its essence exists in the building blocks of the creative process, like the materials, fibers, and fabrics used for each creation, and the people ( their hopes, their dreams, their lives) involved in birthing each one. Fashion is about recognizing and remembering traditions and embracing them, incorporating them into modern inventions. It is about melding history and culture, art and beauty. It is about looking around and properly channeling our boundless creativity in order to continuously innovate and imagine ways by which we can create in a responsible manner. It is about defying trends and holding firm to the tenants of quality, longevity, and good style. Fashion is an investment; fashion is a lifestyle.
As a designer, my mission is simple, my advocacy direct- I strive to craft smart, timeless, stylish pieces using organic indigenous fabrics in the hopes of promoting my country’s natural resources and advocating a sustainable way of life. My passion for fabrics has, over time, transformed itself into a life devoted to promoting the use of these local textiles and supporting the communities that produce them.
My calling finds its roots in the early years of my youth. Though it was from my mother that I gained my first exposure to the world of fashion as I saw her go about her business as a fashion merchandiser, it was from my father that I learned to fall in love with textiles. It is him to whom I owe my fascination with indigenous fabrics.
Since I was around 11 or so, my dad would bring my siblings and I to the remote, isolated towns in the mountains of Mindoro. My dad was friendly with the indigenous people of Mindoro- the Mangyans- and so then did I follow suit. From the Mangyans I garnered my first look at the craft of weaving. I’d spend hours just watching, observing curiously like a fly on the wall, as old women would hunch over their looms, spinning fibers out of the cotton that they’d grow and pick themselves. To a young city girl, witnessing this was nothing short of magical.
Today, my relationship with the weavers from this area, and from all corners of the Philippines, in fact, continues to flourish. My work has allowed me to adopt communities and form real, meaningful bonds with groups of indigenous people. I am blessed to be able to involve entire communities in this trade as the men busy themselves with farming and the growing of the plants and the women, young and old alike, involve themselves in the creation of the fabrics, hand knotting and spinning fibers into bobbins, each producing around 2.5 yards a day.
I am grateful that my work pushes me constantly, as it requires me to experiment with fiber combinations in order to develop new fabrics in a constant, never-ending search for betterment. I am also thankful that what I do allows me to live responsibly, and to act out what I believe in. At the atelier, we practice a zero waste policy. All our fabric scraps and remnants go into creating lovely bags and visors, ensuring that no manual efforts and materials are thrown away unnecessarily.
Today, we continue to innovate and look ahead, as we mix modern materials with organic indigenous ones, allowing us to inject a bit of practicality and modernity into our designs. In all that we do, we continue to push boundaries and encourage women to live ecologically and socially responsible lives through their fashion choices.
For me, and for you, this is only the beginning.
If you are interested in meeting Ditta Sandico in person for your special occasion, you may schedule a consultation through the form below.
Thank you very much.