6 years ago, I was in my 3rd year in college (so you can do the math and guess my age now), and that was when I really got into supporting Pinoy products, and found out about the Yabang Pinoy campaign, which was just starting back then.
I remember that that was the term I took up some speech class, and my topics usually revolved around buying Pinoy. I was so impassioned by this idea, as in you have no idea. Read the bit about Dylan Wilk here and then the rest of this entry and you might understand me a little better.
I would boycott Starbucks in favor of Figaro. Though 2-3 years down the line, I would find out that the omnipresence of Starbucks and lack of local homegrown coffee shops would make it quite challenging to forever avoid holding meetings at Starbucks. :( Sad because we produce great coffee beans in the Philippines! I did have several field days of coffee shop-hopping when I went to Davao though. :)
I also had a very vocal abhorrence for Havaianas and what it stood for. I even wrote a very impassioned Tagalog blog entry (with the title Havaianas o Pilipinas?) in my old personal blog, which in spite of not really having “readers”, did receive its share of haters (I must confess, my blog entry was really biting). In a nutshell, I wrote about the ridiculous craze over Havaianas and why people were suddenly going ga-ga over a product that has been existence in the Philippines for years prior to its arrival (and can be bought at ≤20% the price of Havaianas).
So I supported local brands you’d find in department stores, but then I realized the cheaper local options also came with a price. They didn’t last very long. But I figured that it would still be better to buy several pairs of local slippers than a pair of Havaianas.
A year or so into this personal advocacy, I was given not 1, not 2 but 5 pairs of Havaianas by my mother. I was furious. She said there was a huge sale on them at their office, so she bought them. I refused to wear them. I sold a few of pairs to a friend and left the remaining Havaianas in their packaging. After several months of waiting to be used, when my own slippers had given up and I was too stingy to buy another pair, the Havaianas were finally tested.
I hated them. They were heavier than other slippers and would sometimes scratch the skin (where the thong strap hits the inside of your feet-ish) when you walk in them for longer than 30 minutes or so. I wanted another option, but I didn’t want to buy slippers that literally just sink under your weight.
About a year ago, I finally discovered Banana Peel’s Status Quo collection. It is a line of plain-colored rubber slippers (versus either foam or soft rubber options in the department store). At P290/pair, it’s more expensive than their more popular printed slippers, but it’s also “classier”-looking and longer lasting. I lost my pair in a cab or on a trip somewhere or something and I was finally able to get my hands on my replacement pair last month. Thanks to Nica for buying them for me! Size 9’s and black were hard to find.
So anyway, because I love my black Status Quo slippers so much, which I will now be interchanging with my new and equally lovable Metallichic pairs in brown and gray/silver, I’d like to spread the word about the Banana Peel’s more “mature” line (I think most people just know them for their printed slippers). So, it’s classier and more durable than the cheaper slippers (less wastage for landfills?), but much comfier and more affordable than Havaianas, and it’s Filipino too!
I feel they could improve on their branding though. Oh, and I’m not actually sure if their manufacturing is done in the Philippines, but either way, at least I’m supporting a Filipino brand versus a completely imported one. Not to say we should completely avoid imported products, but that we should make wiser choices as consumers, and that whole conversation really warrants a blog entry of its own.
Anyway, out of love, I got in touch with the Banana Peel team and they’ve sponsored 2 P150 GCs for me to give to 2 winners in my Life in 10KGs Giveaway, because a pair of Banana Peel slippers is definitely going on my packing list. But since I decided I would have 3 winners, I’m throwing in a (cheaper) pair of Banana Peel slippers for the 3rd winner. :D