Monica Frisbie - Mondrina

Winner of the The FEED Most Socially Responsible Handbag

United States

2014 Finalist Monica Frisbie Mondrina


What country are your bags manufactured?

Please explain how your bags are socially responsible?
We employ local artisans in Peru to manufacture our textiles and beadwork embellishments. Currently, we are working with male prisoners in Cusco where they weave custom textiles designed by us. There are many skilled artisans in prison in Cusco and they have no access to local markets to keep selling goods they produce once they are in prison. Employing the prisoner enables them not only to use their skills in a productive manner while serving time, but their family members earn fair price for the products they create. The money paid to their families can be used for various beneficial purposes such as providing children with improved education and nutritive options. The family members can also set aside a portion of the proceeds to pay the fines that the inmates have incurred.

Do you work with local/native artisans to design your bags?
Yes, we give design direction and color choices to the artisans to help enhance their already beautiful products.

Working Conditions - Are the manufacturers/artisans that are being employed being treated humanely, of age, and working in safe and acceptable conditions? Please explain.
Yes, even though they are in a prison they have the opportunity to make a living for their families, and are getting paid a fair wage. The prison is clean and they receive healthy meals and lots of time in the fresh air. My leather factory located in Lima is one of the oldest and they are true artisans who love their work.

Why did you choose this country to have your bags made and what made you decided to give back?
I fell in love with Peru, its warm rich amazing culture and people from the moment I arrived, I knew I wanted to give back to it since Peru has given me so much inspiration and the artisans are truly amazing.

See other finalists from the 2014 handbag awards