Made by women in prison
The main cause of female incarceration is poverty. It is predominantly young, poor, single mothers with a low level of education and income. Being behind bars for years without an opportunity to earn an income makes it harder. We give women in prison new skills and good wages so they can support themselves, send their children to school, save up for a crime-free beginning and ultimately, break the cycle of poverty.
Our designs take their starting point in the Scandinavian design tradition where attention to detail and silhouette meets the most luxurious materials in the world. Each item is handmade in 100% natural materials. We believe in the power and future of Slow Fashion and keep our collections simple and strong, introducing new styles one at a time.
100% natural materials
We only use 100% natural materials native to the country we produce in. This way, we source the best qualities in the world, learn from ancient traditions, and care for the environment. Natural materials are living and have amazing capabilities such as temperature regulating, breathable, absorbent and durable.
Our first collection is made from 100% Baby Alpaca and produced in Cusco’s women’s prison in Peru. Our next collection will be made from 100% silk, manufactured by women in prisons in Thailand.
We believe in improving lives for women in prison through a sustainable business model with dignity and value. Our producers become specialist in making exclusive handmade garments from luxury materials. By creating beautiful and sustainable clothing, we give them dignity that they can put their name to. Our social impact is integrated in our business model. The more customers we get, the more women in prison we can employ.
Our pricing reflects our investment in good salaries for women in prison, the best materials in the world and creating quality designs that last. Furthermore, we invest in skills training, setting up new payment systems and frequent visits to our places of production to measure impact and work with the women.
Here's our production team in prison, Cusco:
Read their stories in our Journal
We sell exclusively online offering our customers luxury, without the retail markup.
We launch new bulks of products based on our production capacity. Our model is a mix of stock styles, limited editions, preorders and special campaigns.
We don't compromise on the value of design, planet or people. We aim to create value within exclusive handmade quality and timeless design.
Veronica D’Souza CEO& Founder
Veronica is a strong believer in improving the world through designing business solutions that are attractive and aspirational.
She is a social entrepreneur and prior to Carcel, she co-founded the award-winning social business Ruby Cup. She is recognized as a ‘Global Shaper’ under World Economic Forum, the youngest Jury member at INDEX: Design To Improve Life, a SOCAP selected entrepreneur, a Youth Mentor for Ashoka, Nairobi, a senior fellow of Humanity in Action in New York, a United World College Student and co-author of ‘The Road Map for Sustainable Leadership’ from the leading Scandinavian Think Tank, Monday Morning (DK).
She has an executive degree in Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD, a Master in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School, specialized in Sustainable Business Operations and Strategies from Columbia Business School, and a Bachelor in Business, Languages and Culture from CBS and La UADE, Argentina.
Veronica is a passionate and ambitious soul, always looking for the right business strategy to make capitalism solve the world’s pressing challenges. She gets her inspiration from people with drive, songwriting, world travelling and her young daughter Vita Leo.
Louise van Hauen Creative Director & Partner
Louise is the creative force behind Carcel’s collections. Her design philosophy is to address every bit of the design process with respect, from stitch to material and silhouette.
Her passion for design and style has always been present, and after working in retail in Copenhagen, she went to London to educate herself as an accessories designer at the best design schools. After receiving a BA (Hons) degree from London College of Fashion, she did a Masters degree at the prestigious Royal College of Art where she graduated in 2012 as one of only two accessory designers. Her final collection of leather products included shearling coats, leather jeans, shoes, bags and gloves. Material is everything to Louise.
She since went on to work as a stylistic consultant for Dirk Bikkembergs in Italy, a design assistant for Louis Vuitton in Paris and freelance accessories consultant in London. In 2014 she went to Nairobi on holiday and returned 2 years later with a baby and the experience of being creative manager at Sandstorm Kenya, the leading brand of leather bags in East Africa.