Catrinka co-founders—Sumana Setty, Reilly Cayten, and Amisha Patel—model their favorite handbags at the launch party.
The Afghanistan Pouch’s flower design is inspired by vintage 1930s cloth made in northern Afghanistan. It’s hand-embroidered by women artisans in a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan thanks to Zardozi, an organization devoted to the cause of finding work for Afghan craftsmen and women.
The Cambodia Tote is handmade by the artisans of Basik 855, a socially conscious company focused on employing artists and the ikat craft, and connecting their work to a broader market.
The Sierra Leone Clutch is made in collaboration with NearFar, an organization that offers a tailoring education to women who missed out on school due to the country’s decade-long civil war. Pictured above is Cumba Mohammed, 20, Mabinti Conteh, 19, and Kadiatu Conteh, 28, who benefit from the NearFar program. They are creating a living and a new life for themselves by constructing the beautiful Sierra Leone Clutch.
Shop for a Cause: The Catrinka Project
Buying a bag never felt this good.
Last week I attended a party introducing The Catrinka Project, an organization that employs women and funds girls’ education in impoverished countries. Co-founders Sumana Setty, Reilly Cayten, and Amisha Patel were inspired to create the Catrinka Project after viewing 10x10’s groundbreaking film, Girl Rising. The movie focuses on the lives of nine girls in nine countries who lift themselves out of extreme poverty. How did they escape? Someone helped fund their education. So the Catrinka Project created bags from the countries featured in the film. They send 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales back to the countries where the bags are made. Check out the slideshow above to see my favorite bags, meet the women who make them, and find out more about the co-founders of the company. Go ahead: shop with a clear conscience. —Sharon Beesley