Lumago Designs is a sustainable, eco-friendly, social enterprise, that is dedicated to improving the livelihood of women from Candau-ay, a large Barangay located on the outskirts of Dumaguete City and home to a large scavenger community.
Lumago Designs blossomed out of the Dumaguete City dumpsite shortly after Typhoon Sendong had devastated the community in 2011. Today, Lumago employs mothers from the Candau-ay community and trains them in the design and manufacturing of beautifully handcrafted jewelry that is locally-sourced with repurposed materials from the dumpsite.
The pieces are artfully handcrafted by the women, and express the bold and colorful personalities of Negros Island. Combining their island roots with contemporary style, the accessories convey a fashion-forward feel, while simultaneously transporting you to a sun-drenched strand of sandy bliss, wherever you may be in the world!
Becky Stanbridge is co-owner of Lumago Designs, and together with Spencer Dempsy, (both no strangers to social enterprises) have invested a wealth of insight and vision into making Lumago Designs run.
They understand the importance of investing in women, providing opportunities to the underprivileged, and stoking the flame of creativity to cultivate the "crafters" talents and watch them grow.
“They are not looking for a hand out; they are hardworking, talented individuals who merely lack opportunity.” —Becky Stanbridge.
Most of the crafters were at one time, stay at home mothers, and some relied solely on scavenging to provide them with enough money for their families’ next meal.
Working with Lumago Designs, these women are now able to help support their families and give back to their communities, while and at the same time producing beautiful works of art to sell to socially-conscious consumers.
Candau-ay os a large Barangay on the outskirts of Dumaguete, it is also home to Dumaguete City's Dumpsite.
A large community of scavengers makes a living here, sorting and sifting through tons of waste each day just to earn meager wages from recycling.
There are make-shift workstations set up where some people spend all day collecting materials.
(All of the materials used at Lumago are reclaimed here.)
Lumago Designs is located near the city dumpsite and in the heart of Candau-ay. The small number building is where Local women create beautiful pieces of wearable art, out of recycled materials from the dumpsite.
Upcycling, also known as Creative Reuse, is the other half of the Recycling Process. By-products, unwanted materials, and waste materials are repurposed and transformed into new products that are of better quality and environmental value.
Some of the women of Lumago Designs, also known as Crafters, come from a scavenging background, having lived their lives rummaging for materials at the city dumpsite just to feed their families for the day.
Upcycling is a practice that most of these women are familiar with so having them actually earn decent money from something familiar to them such as scavenging and learning a new craft is one of the main missions of Lumago.
(Upcycling has been a common practice in the art world since the early 20th century. Today it is most recognizable in modern art pieces such as scrap-metal sculptures.)
Recycled paper is used to produce Lumagos signature beads which are found in their wide array of necklaces and bracelets.
(All materials are meticulously cleaned and inspected before going into production.)
Other materials are used such as leather and pull-tabs from soda cans.
From a handful of repurposed materials, the ladies are able to create a stunning array of beautiful handcrafted goods and jewelry.
The ladies are all encouraged to come up with their own designs, with each piece capturing their bubbly personalities.
The jewelry produced from the wonderful ladies at Lumago Designs has become a famous draw for locals of Dumaguete and visitors to the island.
Lumago Designs Jewelry can be purchased from select retail stores internationally and in parts of the Philippines or online.
For a list of distributors please click here: Lumago Distributors
Lumago Designs plays an important part in the continuing development of the Brgy Candau-ay community in Dumaguete. These fantastic women were given an amazing opportunity to turn their lives around and by doing so they are strengthening their community, helping to save the planet, and securing a future for their families.
Social Enterprises such a Lumago play a very important part in helping to uplift those in poverty, and with your support, Lumago Designs can help improve the lives of countless others. Please support the Amazing women of Lumago Design by purchasing their products or through donations.
A special shout out to our good friend Becky Stambridge, whose selfless dedication to others is truly making the world a better place, and to the wonderful women of Dumaguete, who share their stories through the beautiful hand-made jewelry, your determination and perseverance are an inspiration to anyone willing to listen.
Live an Awesome Life,
SEAN NOLAN of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Lumagao Designs is also where Atmosphere Resorts runs their ASK (Atmosphere Soup Kitchen) program.
ASK sponsors 80 children who are providing with balanced meals, 5 days a week, all year round. Many of these children come from the poorest neighborhoods around Candau-ay dumpsite in Dumaguete
Meals are cooked on a volunteer basis by the mothers of the children.
ASK is affiliated with a nearby school. In return for the meals, children are required to seek an education.