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The Ticog Story

The 2024 Gustoko Spring-Summer collection’s star is ticog, a soft, wild grass that grows in marshlands and lends itself well to handweaving and dyeing, although it looks just as beautiful raw and plain. On bags, Gustoko founder Paula explains, ticog is quite versatile: it comes with a laidback appeal for a daytime outfit, but can also bring an earthy, elegant feel for events in the evening.


To the World

Gustoko sources its woven ticog from a small village in Samar, an island in Central Philippines, where a community of women artisans draws from a tradition passed across generations.

Over the years – Gustoko has been working with them for a decade – theyhave been discovering more and more ways to achieve world class designs that stand the test of time. “We learned to harvest ticog when they are still green, for example, so that they stay durable as they are woven together.”

Paula has visited and stayed in the community herself, fondly remembering the kind-hearted and hardworking women who stayed in a cave while weaving – for the shade and damp, which were good for ticog. Seeing them in person had been transformative for both Gustoko and this tribe of weavers, she says.

“On our part, we were able to more easily communicate the look and quality we were going for. We saw the impact of what we’re doing, and so we became more determined to showcase their beautiful work around the world.”

For their part, the women artisans expressed feeling empowered, as they found themselves being challenged to improve their woven products.

“Yung akala naming maganda na, may igaganda pa pala!” (What we thought was already good, we learned, could be made even better!)”

Along with the trusty buntal and raffia fibers, the ticog is expected to shine this season, and the village women behind them, even more so.


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