The Brazilian-based brand, Volta Atelier, which makes sustainable and exclusively bags focused on conscious consumers, is not only worried about sustainability, but also ethics, inclusivity, and fair work. In partnership with Migran Care Center NGO, the brand works with Haitian refugees that went to Brazil in search of opportunities and a better life. The Haitian women find in the brand, not only a chance to change their lives but a job that guarantees all the rights they need, paying a fair price for the manual, delicate and dedicated work they do.
Every Volta bag is designed by its founder, Fernanda Daudt, who currently lives in New York City, and handcrafted by the artisans from Haiti. The brand also reassures the importance of recognizing the work of these women. Because of that, all the bags come, internally, with a label that says the name of the artisan that made it. “They are the stars of our brand”, said Daudt.
The artisans receive directly in their houses, in Caxias do Sul, South of Brazil, the leather scraps already cut in the molds to follow the designs made by Fernanda. Manually in their homes and with the flexibility to make their work time, the artisans stitch everything together turning the fabric that would easily be thrown away by the shoe factories, into beautiful and unique bags.
According to Fernanda, she decided to start her own brand, because after 20 years of experience in the fashion industry and having worked also with fast fashion stores, she decided it was time to create her own pieces, but with a purpose behind them. Her first idea was to work with women in prison, but due to a lot of bureaucracy, she ended up finding her team of refugees who also needed help to enter the job market and build a dignified life.
Volta Atelier is all about creative leather bags made entirely with scrap material from the shoe industry. It is a slow-fashion brand that buys leather waste from various factories. Then, they turn them into bags, shoes, and accessories in general. In other words, they make upcycled hand-stitched items that are not only beautiful but with an amazing and ethical purpose behind them.
The bags are ethically produced and made to be simple statement pieces for everyday use. They are focused on the consumer that demands transparency from the brands and that are worried about the working conditions of the people making the accessories and clothes and with the environment. Whether it’s a neon-printed, monochrome bag the Volta accessories are the option when it comes to unique and beautiful bags. Their mission is to encourage a circular economy, breathing life back into lost cultural heritage and growing communities from the ground up.
The brand has showcased in the past five editions of New York Fashion Week and was shortlisted by the Green Product Award, which honors the best innovative and sustainable products in the international market, in 2019 and 2020. The brand also retails in the United States, making its presence in over 60 stores, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan.