Carcel - made by women in prison
Louise Van Hauen and Veronica d’Souza launched Carcel, which means “jail” in Spanish, when CEO and Founder d’Souza visited a women’s prison in Kenya. She wanted to train inmates to work with quality fabrics that were native to their country, creating garments that were perfect for a conscious consumer. The Copenhagen based label empowers women in prison through work, new skills, and fair wages while delivering clothing that is high in quality and aesthetics. Their pieces are made from natural, biodegradable and ethically- sourced fabrics.
In a prison located in Cusco, Peru, 15 women were trained and taught to make the brands knitwear which is made of 100% baby alpaca wool. Now, a second production line is up and running in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With a team of 10 women and a local source of fine materials, Carcel is expanding into a new silk range. Just like the Peruvian prisoners, these women are trained, educated and employed directly by Carcel. They are paid fairly by the company and are taught so many new skills. Each of the styles carry the names of the women who made the garments, making them feel proud about the work they have done.
Carcel’s new silk range is made by an incredible team of women, who make twill dresses, heavy denim-looking jackets, hand embroidered bucket bags and checkered blazers. All the pieces are made from 100% silk - twill, traditional One-ply or Queens silk. You can view the new collection here: carcel.co/collections/silk.
What is so great about Carcel is not only the beautiful clothing the women make but the empowering nature of the brand. Working in prison allows the women to save up for a crime free beginning when they get out of prison, learn new skills and feel like they have done something productive with their day to day lives in prison. It is so important that the people who make our clothing are treated with respect and work in a safe environment - it’s all about ethics! We must support brands like Carcel in order to show that we do care about garment workers - so hopefully one day all brands share the same ethical standard.