Ephemeral Brazil is a charity promoting education and enterprise within some of Brazils' poorest communities. Opportunities for trading, alongside training are being created. The focus is on style, with eco-friendly fashion accessories made from recycled materials.
Under our banner each atelier, studio, co-operative or individual is promoted as an Ephemeral Brazil designer.
Marrying newly learnt skills with traditional crafts and recycled materials such as newspaper, papier-mâché, used coffee filters, plastic bottles, fabric remnants, aluminium cans and their ring pulls, handbags and accessories are brought to life.
By forging partnerships across the fashion industry we will create an international market place for our designers, securing long term sustainable employment within these communities.
Ana Claudia lived and worked in Morro do Cantagalo, a community of 14,000 souls, perched on a rock. She has became an expert in the art of creating handbags by rolling, weaving and painting newspaper. Besides being beautiful, they were amazingly strong.
Sadly, Ana Claudia died of pneumonia and we will miss her wonderful, warm character and the expertise she brought to our work.
Iolanda was, and still works as, a rubbish collector. Now she and 11 other women have formed a co-operative in São Gonçalo, called Lixoio.
In her designs Iolanda uses pieces of aluminium cans and various other scrap materials, as well as the recontainers of plastic bottles to make decorative motifs and even landscapes, which are crocheted together to make her handbags. Each bag is unique.
Tania makes handbags from rags and fuxico, using a second-hand sewing machine she was given 20 years ago. These bits of fabric and other remnants are rescued from the incinerators of large factories. Thanks to donations Tanias friends and family now operate a small fashion workshop. Tanias handbags regularly feature in Brazilian soap operas. Her successful handicraft has helped her bring up her 3 children with dignity.
Olivia founded Ateliers Maomao in Niteroi with her daughter and five friends. They make the most enchanting collection of clutch bags, turning fabric remnants into the rosettes. Their necklaces are truly original, made from tiny knots that resemble rosebuds.
Nice and Luiza
Sisters Nice and Luiza work with crochet and aluminium ring-pulls, which they fashion into belts and matching handbags in bright and cheerful colours. Another range has entrancing gingham rosettes also made from offcuts
Sandra is a young artisan living in Vale da Penha, in Rio. She works with papier-mâché and aluminium ring-pulls to make costume jewellery, including pendants, necklaces and bracelets in joyful colours
Angelica works in the Folha Verde (Green Leaf) Atelier in the Ilha do Governador. Her mock-crocodile handbags are made from sections of plastic bottles coated with used coffee filters to an extraordinarily chic effect.
Marilene lives in Rocinha, the largest favela in the world, home to 180,000 people. She makes small bespoke handbags from hand painted and woven newspaper. Her studio is attached to the Crèche do Ceu (Crèche in the Sky) and during my visit, over 100 children were sleeping on the floor on bright pieces of fabric.