Circular  economy initiative that will grow women-led business in coastal communities 

in the coral triangle

Tagpi-Tagpi (a Filipino word for patching things together) is a circular economy initiative with a mission to economically empower socially marginalized women who face barriers to work in rural coastal areas in the coral triangle. 

We do this by empowering women in coastal communities through personal initiative trainings that: 

Stimulates entrepreneurship

Improve access to capital and market and auxiliary support services

Promote sustainable consumption and production

Why Do We Empower Women?

Why We Started Tagpi-Tagpi

Opportunity unlock with an old pair of jeans

In 2018, Mary Jane Lamoste, the founder of Tagpi-Tagpi, learned about Levi Strauss & Co's environmental lifecycle assessment of their products. She discovered that a pair of Levi's 501 jeans consumes almost 4,000 liters of water in its entire lifecycle, and the biggest impact is not from the manufacturer but on the growth of cotton and consumer users. 

She decided to sew a humpback whale from her old pair of Levi's jeans. Since then she co-designed prototypes of wildlife- theme products found in the Philippines. 

Tagpi-Tagpi empowers socially marginalized women in coastal communities through craft, entrepreneurship, and local leadership, providing them with opportunities to pursue economically productive endeavors.

Communities We Work With

Yolanda Women's Association

In February 2020, a pilot workshop was organized in Apo Island, a renowned destination known for its pristine coral reefs and resident sea turtles. Despite the island attracting over 50,000 tourists in 2018, tourism jobs were predominantly reserved for men, leaving women largely excluded. To address this disparity, Tagpi-Tagpi trained a total of 10 women from the Yolanda Women's Organization in sustainable entrepreneurship. 

''Before working for Tagpi-Tagpi, my job was to deliver water to households using my old wooden cart. Often, I had to go to faraway places to do other jobs to support my family. But now, I can have more time with my children, and I can work from home too. 

I am looking forward to starting my own business once tourism is back in Apo Island.''

A message from Ate Rebecca, 

Tagpi-Tagpi Manager, Apo Island

Duhinob Women's Association

In March 2020, shortly before the lockdown, Tagpi-Tagpi was invited to participate in an upcycling project organized by CENRO-Manukan in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at Negosyo Center, President Manuel A Roxas, Zamboanga Del Norte. The event was held in celebration of Women's Month with the theme "WE Make Change Work for Women".

A total of 20 women were trained in sustainable entrepreneurship during the workshop. The training highlighted the role of women in raising awareness of the established pawikan nesting site in their coastal area. With the support provided by DTI, these women will be able to create products and business opportunities using locally sourced materials.

Dauin Women's

In October 2020, Tagpi-Tagpi trained 10 women from Dauin, Negros Oriental, to make plush toys. The upcycling training aimed to provide women with a platform to work as a team, share their creativity, and have a source of income. 

This training and micro-entrepreneurship were funded by East-West Center

One of the valuable lessons I gained from my experience with Tagpi-Tagpi's training is the importance of embracing new skills, even if I wasn't certain of their immediate use or my proficiency. I acquired the art of crafting plush toys from old clothes and established my own business. More significantly, I learned to honor and value the ideas of fellow women. Never did I imagine myself as a leader among women in my community. I shared my newfound knowledge with them and witnessed their determination to learn as well. We became a close-knit family. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, our bond grew stronger, and we learned to appreciate the opportunities and blessings derived from upcycling old clothes’’. 

A message from ate Lori,

Tagpi-Tagpi Manager, Negros Oriental Islands

Who We Are

Mary Jane Lamoste

  • Marine Biologist
  • Experiential Professional Development (XPD) fellow at East-West Center, 2020
  • Rising Star Entrepreneur at Sustainable Ocean Alliance

  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Quality Control and Production Lead
  • Tagpi-Tagpi Trainee

Rebecca Sumagang

  • Sewer
  • Quality Control and Production Lead
  • Tagpi-Tagpi Trainee

Our Partners

Tagpi-Tagpi seeks partnership opportunities between private enterprise, projects, organizations, and the local community. 



Tagpi-Tagpi aims to contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):