Fair trade. Responsible tourism.
Subida Souvenirs, though a business at base, proactively dedicates itself to inclusive social awareness and responsibility. Thus, we join the growing movement to empower and uplift local workers within the arena of international trade. We recognize the vital importance of fair trade, and cooperate closely with artisans to create markets geared to improve their standard of living. We whole-heartedly embrace the belief that all workers with whom we do business must receive the full recognition and value that they deserve.
Subida Souvenirs also strives to extend social responsibility to the tourism industry. We’re aware that this carries different meanings to different people, but would like to clarify what it means to us:
- Local craftsmen and artisans. It’s something of a challenge to find them, but scouts at Subida Souvenirs search constantly for local talent with a view to job creation. We then provide these workers with raw materials, and open up opportunities to market their products.
- Fair pay and recognition. Although arts and crafts are highly respected professions in the Philippines, this regard rarely translates to proper compensation. We aim to change that by ensuring that, for all Subida Souvenirs artisans, payment is fair, and substantial enough to provide a good living to provide for themselves and their families. We also extend proper acknowledgement of their talent, both in-store and online, to enhance their value and their pride in the work they do.
- Exposure to fair trade and artisan cooperatives. All who travel yearn to bring home souvenirs in remembrance of their beautiful experience. By words and deeds, we educate travelers on the principles of fair trade and the importance of buying from local craftsmen and supporting businesses that pay fair living wages.
- Commitment to the community. For every purchase at Subida Souvenirs, a small donation is given to our non-profit, The Subida Fund, which helps little children in need of medical operations (like Asmara’s Heart – https://goo.gl/bXLHzY ). We also work with our local DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) office to help develop more small businesses which we feel will share our commitment to the principles fair livelihood and social responsibility in general. So far, we have donated a billiard business, provided a small fishing boat to a fisherman, supported an organic farm, and built a fishing guided tours business for a coastal community, just to name a few.
- Service to others. Subida Souvenirs believes in creating relationships with all of the communities with whom we partner, and in finding the time to continue working alongside them. Our customers can be a part of unique experiences, such as playing together with Filipino kids who can teach them how to play with traditional Filipino toys. A day of intense friendship and hard work can often engender feelings beyond the power of words to describe.
- Partnering with other businesses who share our vision. We try to build ties with other establishments who later become family as we work together to bring improvement and hope to the most needful communities. We also make a special effort to specifically seek out companies that are owned by women, or have employment policies and practices that are friendly to women, to help counteract gender inequality wherever it exists.
- Embracing the local culture. Subida Souvenirs isn’t content for our customers to merely be “tourists”… we want them to experience the real, living culture of the country they are visiting. This includes devoting time to informing clients about local markets and artists, and encouraging our guests to play with Filipino toys, sampling Filipino food, befriending Filipino people– in short, creating a depth of cultural immersion which renders unforgettable the people and places you encounter through us.
- Contribute to the local economy. We believe that the best way to help our local economy is to invest in it. We implement this by purchasing the items we need to run our business right here in Negros Oriental, our home. Whether it be printing brochures and itineraries at a local print shop, sourcing T-shirts from our women’s groups, purchasing raw materials for our craftsmen to use, or developing our videos on site, we try our hardest to support local business and boost the local economy through our campaign (#suportaLokal).
Subida Souvenirs has always, and will always, work hard to initiate and support programs that give back in as many ways as possible. We wish fervently for everyone we meet to feel better for having done business with us, better for having shared our life and culture, better for having met us and known us.
Subida Souvenirs Team