Ricefield Collective: knitwear from the Philippines

photo via Ricefield Collective's Kickstarter campaign

I look forward to my weekly Projects We Love email from Kickstarter. It's always fun to see highlights from the wide range of projects that pop up. But a few weeks ago, one stopped me in my tracks: Ricefield Collective.
Overlooking rice terraces in the Philippines, Meredith Ramirez crafted a plan to combine knitting and tradition with local Filipina women. Together, they're creating a collection of knitwear inspired by the ascending lines of the mountains they call home.
Thanks to my Filipino heritage, this project pulled my heartstrings. Ifugao is not terribly far from the areas we toured while visiting my family in the Philippines a few years ago, where we saw people struggling to maintain their culture while navigating in a changing economy. The women in this knitting collective are desperate to make enough money for their families to stay on their ancestral farms. Growing up in Kansas, this too is a story I understand.

On top of the emotional draw to this project, the hats and scarves look amazing. I already had my eye out for a cute new winter hat, since my trusty go-to is beginning to look the worse for wear. What could be a more perfect replacement than a beautiful piece handcrafted by a Filipina, supporting her and her family as they carry on an important piece of Filipino heritage? I backed the project at the Spiral Slouchy level (photo below), after deliberating between all of the well-designed options.

photo via Ricefield Collective's Kickstarter campaign

The project is already fully funded, which means Ricefield Collective is getting the money needed to expand operations and help more women (and backers are guaranteed their rewards!). But they aren't done. They've created new gifts as motivation to reach a new goal: $85,000. This would allow them to create a permanent home base in Ifugao and employ even more women. They have one week to reach this goal, and still need another $18,600 to make it.

Today, on a cold and gloomy spring day in Boston, it seems like the perfect time to spread the word about something so warm and cozy. If you could use a stylish new hat and/or scarf next fall, make a difference with your purchase! Meredith, Jean, and the other members of Ricefield Collective will thank you.