Tradition and technology combine to weave natural fibers into everyday wear—fit for the tropics.
Social enterprise Creative Definitions introduces AIRE, a fashion brand that uses local textiles extracted from discarded pineapple leaves.
By blending traditional weaving practices with technology, enterprise founders Mike and Banj Claparols not only provide additional income for their farmer partners, but also open more design possibilities for Philippine tropical fabrics.
Keeping the image of the gentleman farmer in mind, AIRE’s debut collection pays tribute to the airiness of tropical dressing. The garments, defined by pleasing lines and imbued with soothing hues, recall the laid-back styles of European summers, but with a Filipino touch.
“The idea is [that you can wear it] from city to resort. AIRE is all about form and function with less fuss,” says Luis Espiritu, Creative Director for AIRE.
AIRE takes pride in only using natural fibers, ethically sourced from pineapple and cotton farmers in Negros Occidental. The team supports local farmers and indigenous communities in the province by giving them opportunities for extra income and employing fair trade practices.
AIRE also works closely with the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) in adopting technologies to convert the natural fibers into wearable yarns. Mike notes: “Like linen, our pineapple tropical fabrics are light, airy, and ideal for creating tropical-inspired garments.”
Another part of AIRE’s brand identity is rooted in the legacy and style sensibilities of Eduardo “Ed” Claparols, Mike’s father. Known as “The Father of Mechanized Sugarcane Farming,” the elder Claparols was integral in bolstering the sugarcane industry in Negros Occidental and upholding regenerative farming practices.
Beyond his work and philanthropy, the family patriarch was also known for his “air of presence” and for being a sophisticated dresser. His wardrobe was filled with elegant menswear pieces such as blazers, bush jackets, and pocketed shirts. AIRE hopes to bring the spirit of Claparols’ work ethic and classic style to the present.
Take a closer look at AIRE’s debut collection and know more about their story by visiting their official Instagram account at @aire_mnl. Also check out their fellow brand under Creative Definitions, LAKAT Sustainables (@lakatsustainables), a line of sneakers also made from ethically-sourced pineapple cotton fibers.