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Meet Catarina Mina: The Accessories Brand That Is Changing The Game

Meet Catarina Mina: The Accessories Brand That Is Changing The Game

Handmade, socially responsible, and created by women. These are some of the qualities of Catarina Mina, one of the brands curated by the Founding team behind Aurora & Lolo, a sustainable and conscious fashion brand.  


The Catarina Mina crochet bag company was born in Ceará, Brazil over a decade ago, and today as the brand is heading into its 13th year it is expanding beyond the borders into Europe and America, and most recently gracing the runways internationally at Milan Fashion Week 2021.​​


“Craftwork grows with the craftsman. We can’t think about handmade work without acknowledging and strengthening the people behind it, says Celina Hissa, the Founder and Creative Designer of Catarina Mina. Working closely with the craftsman’s local associations (“Associations”), that trains and employs the artisans who make Catarina Mina’s handbags, the brand creates possibilities for the artisans to consistently generate their own income. To many, if not all, this means financial independence and empowerment. There is so much poverty in Ceará - particularly in rural areas where the partners Associations are located. “There isn’t such a thing as educational day care or after school programs. Once trained, they can do their crochet work from home, take care of their children, and ensure teens are well guided – out of crime”, says Hissa. 


Often inspired by other artisans, friends and family members also receive training to make the crochet bags and learn to develop their own careers. This creates a positive impact on their and their families’ lives, and eventually, their greater communities.  It is part of the growing cycle of prosperity that inspired the Founders of Aurora & Lolo to launch their America based company. 


Catarina Mina is working on its growth strategy as they move in to the second phase of their commitment to environmental and social sustainability. With plans to use more and more eco-friendly materials such as recycled textile, and organic cotton, and technology for a more comprehensive transparency tool. “There are so many craftswomen waiting to work, there is always a way to grow”, says Celina, about their expansion plans. 


Thays Lyons, the CEO of Aurora & Lolo, is a big fan of the brand and states, passionately, “Catarina Mina is a socially responsible brand, ethically making products that – literally - change people’s lives. And here, at Aurora & Lolo, we are not in business to sell bags, we are in the business of supporting women to thrive and have a joyful life. More bags sold, means more demand for bags. Consequently, more women can see possibilities to generate income and find their way beyond poverty, to be empowered, and to inspire others.” 


On the other side of this transaction – or, we should say, positive cycle - is the community of faithful customers who buy and support those positive changes. According to Celina, “In the future, fashion consumers are going to be way more connected with the process behind the clothing pieces and the social and environmental impact that comes with it”. Meaning that whenever our customers purchase a Catarina Mina bag they become a part of this impactful process, helping to pave the way for a better fashion industry.


Aurora & Lolo Team


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