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Carcel - Clothing from the inside

CARCEL is a social start-up that aims to employ women in prison around the world through the production of sustainable and exclusive Scandinavian clothing. Each item that we sell on our online community platform/shop creates employment and fair wages for a woman in prison, challenges stigma and prejudice about female incarceration and expands the sustainable Slow Fashion market.

CARCEL is run by three women’s empowerment-through-business-aficionados. We believe in sustainable and ethical business solutions to address pressing issues.

Why women in prison?

In the past 15 years, there has been an alarming increase in female prisoners in the world, which in some developing countries has been up to 100%. The majority of women in prison are mothers under the age of 30 and they are incarcerated due to poverty-related crimes such as theft and drug trafficking. Coming from poor communities, an imprisoned woman does not only struggle with the emotional aspect of being distanced from her family, she is also excluded from the financial market and made unable to provide for them.

From our experience of visiting five women’s prisons in Peru, many women are already highly skilled in knitting and sewing and work several hours a day. However, they lack access and knowledge of the market and therefore their products are not in demand.

CARCEL provides women in prison with knowledge and access to the market by building on their existing capacities to produce Scandinavian fashion with locally sourced, organic materials, which we sell on our online shop.

Our aim is to alleviate poverty for incarcerated women and their children who are extremely marginalized and vulnerable so they can become economically empowered and set up their own business once they are released and avoid criminal activity.

Our vision is global, we start in Peru.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (December 2016)