You might want to have another look at Kape Isla, a coffeeshop that’s a paean to the best of Philippine coffee.
It’s still all about the bean but half of the space has transformed into EchoStore. In the dictionary, one of the definitions of an echo is “a consequence or repercussion”; something that goes around, coming around, a “bouncy” kind of karma, if you will. ECHO stands for Environment & Community Hope Organization STORE.
Launched by some of the women that made Figaro a household name ”“ Chit Juan, Reena Francisco, and Jeannie Javelosa ”“ the trio envisions the store to be a starting point to a sustainable lifestyle. EchoStore offers products that hope to encourage consumers to be more conscious of what they use and eat: everything sold here is non-toxic, biodegradable and natural: home décor, fashion accessories (for your cellphone too!), health and wellness potions, makeup, books, and cd’s for meditation.
The products are made by social enterprises, foundations, and cooperatives that include Alter Trade, whose products come only from certified organic farms; Ilog Maria Honeybee Farms; Z.e.n (Zestful, Energetic, Natural), a body and personal care line that utilizes virgin coconut oil; Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation that produces spectacular malunggay dips (a bestseller, believe it or not), muscovado sugar, and red rice, (niftily packaged too!) Among my other favorites are the piaya crisps which are so thin they can be served like soda crackers for an elegant starter, muscovado sugar not rocks, but squares, and the beautiful straw bayongs that are perfect for a morning at the farmers’ market or a day out at the mall. After all, plastic is tragic, I say.
While I admire the products (but obviously paying closer attention to the edible items), Reena tells me that she, Chit, and Jeannie work closely with marginalized communities, women’s groups, and foundations. “We encourage them to use what they know to create products,” Reena avers, “and as their confidence builds, they’re able to provide livelihood for themselves.”
As a shop, EchoStore is a showcase of Filipino design and craftsmanship proudly built on fair trade and conscious consumerism that in turn, will help aid in alleviating poverty. It’s also an excellent place to start or maintain a conscious decision to live a sustainable lifestyle with the self, the community, and ultimately, the planet. And oh, did I mention that the coffee is spectacular?
EchoStore Sustainable Lifestyle (and have a cuppa while you’re at Kape Isla!)
Ground Floor, Serendra Piazza (facing Market! Market!)
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Open daily from 12 noon to 10 pm
For more information, call 901.3485 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.