three women artisans from Catrinka in Chiapas

We call it the Power of the Purse: every bag sold provides work for women and education for girls, impacting this generation and the next.

Handbags represent financial empowerment for so many women, who the first time they have money of their own, go find a bag to carry it in. Your Catrinka bag does triple duty! Keeps you in style for years to come, while financially empowering women and girls, helping to break the cycle of poverty. And our commitment to you is that you know the exact impact at the time of purchase. Unlike some other brands, we don't donate "a percentage of profits" - we provide fair work upfront, and with each purchase provide a specific impact of days of education for girls. 

“Every dollar you spend . . . or don't spend . . . is a vote you cast for the world you want.” - L.N. Smith.

Every bag is tagged with its impact, in days of work for women and days of education for girls*. To date:

We have provided fair work to 284 women in 16 countries, and supported 595 adolescent girls in 5 countries:

Employing Women

Women reinvest twice as much of their income in their families as men. But women-run businesses face barriers to growth, including lack of training, networking and access to finance, and cultural obstacles that prevent their success. Women who join the formal economy, who open bank accounts, feed their families, upgrade their houses and send their kids to school, have a ripple effect on their local community, and create change that will endure in future generations.

Catrinka works directly with textile and handbag artisans to provide work at a fair wage and on fair terms. Learn more about our women artisans on each product page, and in our Impact Reports.

Educating Girls

Educating a girl is the single most effective way to reduce poverty around the world, and can literally change the world. We invest in girls because when girls have access to education and the support they need to put their dreams into action, they transform their families and future children, breaking the cycle of poverty.

Catrinka focuses on adolescent girls because of need - the world has reached gender parity in primary education but not in secondary - and because by the age of 12, in many parts of the world girls become economic assets for others, or wives and mothers while they are still children themselves. We want to do everything we can to support their ability to take control of their own lives. We provide life skills mentoring in addition to education, to give girls the tools they need to understand their bodies, to understand money, and to broaden their vision of their own future. We also developed a production cooperative that allows older girls (aged 15-19) to earn money by making bracelets while participating in the curriculum. 

Want to know more? Read our Impact Reports and get to know the women and girls of the Catrinka Girls Project

Want to make an impact? Become a Catrinka Ambassador!

* the bag accessories and smaller items are all made by women, and support the company and its mission, but because they are made more quickly and are at a lower price point, their impact cannot be expressed meaningfully in terms of days and accordingly they are not tagged.