From its inception, being proudly Filipino in various aspects has always been at the core of its business. A member of Power Fashion Inc. (PFI) together with brands, UNICA and VISEVERSA, BAYO has been fully committed to embracing the Filipino heritage, encouraging Filipino talent, and developing apparel to create opportunities that in turn improve Filipino lives.
Since the company was acquired by PFI in 2014, this enabled them to generate over 1,600 jobs that provide employment and livelihood to others. Catering to the growing expansion of the retail brands, PFI established a local manufacturing facility that initially produced 90-95% of the retail brand’s requirements. Today, BAYO is proud to be operating as a brand that is 100% made in the Philippines with a goal to expand and double production output by 2021.
A call to support
As a homegrown Filipino brand, the call to support local brands has always been BAYO’s advocacy. While the current situation continues to be very challenging, BAYO has spent the past months finding more ways for the brand to reach out to Filipinos through what it does best.
At the beginning of the year when the eruption of Taal volcano shocked the country, the company stopped its production for a week to focus on manufacturing masks for the victims. Commissioned by DOST-PTRI to address the issue of industrial waste caused by the disposable masks, the brand made a prototype for face masks. REwear™ face mask is made with the finest material, handmade by local fashion makers, and can be used up to 50 times with its PTRI Textile-Coating technology. Bayo gladly took on the task of creating 250,000 pieces of this at a reasonable cost for distribution to various government agencies.
In March of 2020, BAYO opened its manufacturing facility to assist in the preparation of PPE coveralls for the programs of the Office of the Vice President (OVP). A partnership that benefited thousands of people and families, Bayo Foundation subsidized the cost of making the PPE and the OVP covered the actual cost of labor paid to workers. Through this, BAYO was able to deliver 12,228 PPEs which were distributed to hospitals all over the Philippines and in return was able to sustain the livelihood of its employees. The project with the OVP led BAYO to pivot its business in dedicating its services to help in providing masks and PPEs, and even job opportunities to more people.
Bayo Foundation also mobilized livelihood programs in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Pasig City. Working with five barangays of the municipality, the group provided sewing projects to the city’s skilled sewers; this allowed BAYO to provide additional jobs to those who have been out of work since the lockdown. Not only did this program enable them to manufacture more PPE coveralls and create 100,000 face masks, this effort also generated additional income enough to feed over 250 family members throughout this period.
Outside Metro Manila, Bayo Foundation continues its program with the hand weavers of Ambension–a social enterprise located inside the Enchanted farm of the Gawad Kalinga community in Bulacan. The hand weavers of Ambension use production offcuts or retasos in their weaving patterns. By providing additional looms to increase the production of the community, the company through Bayo Foundation is set to buy all the produced hand-woven fabrics for the development of the brands’ upcoming collections (Bayo, Unica, and Viseversa).
It has also extended opening its doors to corporate clients during this time. Donors like the Taiwan Association in the Philippines, TIEZA, and Province of Sulu are some of those BAYO has worked with. Currently, the company is working on the completion of 150,000 facemasks for all BPI employees nationwide. It has also been tasked to supply the company uniforms of China Savings Bank employees.
On the brand level, BAYO has decided to stop manufacturing its regular merchandise and instead shifted to designing fashionable and functional PPE inspired wardrobes. It has also put importance and focus on strengthening its online presence to be able to constantly reach its consumers.
As more people are being very supportive of local brands, most especially of BAYO, the opportunities in the manufacturing facilities have given the company the blessing to continue to contribute and support its employees.
Beyond the business
For BAYO, being Filipino means going beyond creating products made in the Philippines. Being truly Filipino is also about having a heart for the Filipino. Guided by its principles, the company has always been dedicated to upholding the safety and well-being of all its employees. More so now, given the current health situation in the country. From providing masks and protective wear to each employee, transporting their production team members from home to work, finding alternative jobs for certain members that may not yet be able to report to the office, to ensuring that the livelihood of over 2,000 family members of its employees may be sustained, and that more jobs can be created are its current priorities. It has always been vital to the company to be able to give back not just to others but also to those who are part of the BAYO family. To the company, the people behind each BAYO piece are also heroes. With its stores slowly reopening and having the manufacturing facilities in operation, what the brand is most grateful for are really its people and those that continue to put their trust in it.