We go where the best and most sustainable materials in the world meet the highest rate of poverty related crime. This way, we transform lost time into fair wages, skills and hopes of a better future while giving you high quality designs that last.
We keep our collection simple and strong, introducing new styles one at a time. This way we avoid waste, respect the pace of our unique production and stay relevant.
We sell exclusively online and offer quality design in the world’s most luxurious materials - without the luxury markup.
We do not compromise on quality of design, our planet or human people – that’s the future of fashion.
Rocio is talented, professional and smart. The other girls named her "la mejor trabajadora", the best worker. Her family lives far away and she never gets any visits, so she is really happy to have a lot of work to make time pass.
After High School, Rocio moved to Cusco and worked in a fashion store. She fell in love with a an older man who asked her to drive some new girls to Cusco, who would work in his store. She states she didn’t know that they were in fact hired as prostitutes. She got stopped by a police control and is serving time for human trafficking. Her boyfriend disappeared and she never heard from him again.
Rocio is working to save up for a new beginning. Her dream is to study tourism and leave Peru and one day live in Brazil with her father.
Edith is a shy, tentative and kind soul. She’s a fantastic team player and no one would ever say a bad word about her. It took her a while to get comfortable working the knitting machine as she was afraid to make mistakes, but now she is brilliant at making Milano sweaters.
Edith was selling auto mechanic spare parts in Lima when she fell in love with a younger man. He wanted to show her Cusco and asked her to get a lift with his friend and meet him there. The car got stopped on the way and the inside of the upholstery was full of cocaine. None of her family can afford the journey to come visit her. She is working hard to save up everything she makes to buy medicinefor her mother.
Elena wears pink lipstick every day, has a great sense of humour and keeps her favourite soft drink next to her knitting machine. She is loud and always in a great mood.
When she was just 12 years old she started bringing drugs from her village in the jungle to Bolivia. She continued doing that for 12 years and got to experience a lot of things during that time. They were a group of four on their motorbikes, transporting the drugs in their backpacks to the other side of the border. She says she had a good life, and it made enough money for her daughter and her family.
Elena got 16 years and has eight years left. When she leaves prison, she wants to take care of her daughter and give her the chance of a brighter future. It has always been her dream to move away from the little village in the jungle and to have a better life in Lima.
Esther is a little shy because she is new in prison and doesn‘t know the other girls that well yet. She regrets her previous actions and knows that what she did was wrong but at the time she felt really helpless. She desperately needed money to buy medicine for her daughter who has a heart defect. She doesn’t want to talk more about it.
She worked many years in the construction industry making bricks but with three children she couldn‘t do this backbreaking work any longer. Her financial situation then got worse after separating from her violent husband.
She is now waiting for her final judgment but has not been able to afford a lawyer in the process. Esther is currently working on the domestic knitting machine. She has never done this type of work before and feels proud that she is now capable of making beautiful knits.
Fanny is our hand knit champion. She is extremely talented and cares for every detail. She is originally from Cusco but lived most of her life in Puno.
Her mother died when she was very small and she grew up with just her dad. At the age of 21, she gave birth to her first child. She has always worked hard to support herself and her family from an early age.
Fanny got a sentence of 10 years for robbery. She was planning on separating from her alcoholic and violent first husband but he didn’t want the divorce or to pay child support for their son. Shortly after he was arrested for stealing cars and selling them on the black market. He told the police that she was an accomplice. She was detained in Puno and sent to prison in Cusco. She pled not guilty but with little evidence to support her case she got 10 years. Now she has only one year left in prison.
She is a strong-minded woman, who is very warm, open and laughs a lot. She loves to cook and is really interested in vegetarian food, yet her favourite dish will always be pollo a la brasa.
Natural, pure, and locally sourced materials. That is our dogma. Living materials are biodegradable, friendly to the environment, full of superpowers and simply pure luxury.
In Peru, we only work with the finest baby alpaca wool, also named fibre of the Gods. Alpacas roam free in the Peruvian Andes and stand temperature swings between -20 and 30 degrees in one single day. This explains why their fibre is so unique and wearable with both warm and cold weather.
Hypoallergenic. No lanolin makes the alpaca yarn suitable for sensitive skin
Thermoregulating. Lightweight, breathable and warmer than sheep’s wool
Self cleansing. The shiny alpaca wool is naturally water, odour and dirt resistant
Our designs take their starting point in the Scandinavian design tradition where detail and silhouette meets the most premium luxurious materials in the world. We believe in the power and future of Slow Fashion and keep our collections simple and strong.
Every piece is made with a meticulous consideration for both the technical and aesthetic details, the underlying strengths that enhances the natural capabilities of the material and a vision for balancing the beauty of a classic product with current relevance.
We love shapes and textures that are flattering and make you feel smart without trying. We aim to balance the beauty of classic and current topped with a cool, considered and casual attitude. We believe that high quality and timeless design is key your long lasting favourite pieces.
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. That is why 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.
We believe in creating impact through a sustainable business model. Our producers become specialists 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.
Carcel is founded by Veronica D’Souza in 2016 who have teamed up with designer Louise van Hauen. We have a talented and ambitious team in our design studio in Copenhagen and Peru, and work closely together with our partners and producers in the countries we operate in.
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.