Laboratorio Cartiera: leather and a social conscience!

Cartiera logo
Type of organisation or company
Marzabotto, Bologna
Language for original content
Project elaborated in partnership
Start/End date
Type of funding
Laboratorio Cartiera

The Italian Cartiera is an ethical fashion workshop founded in Lama di Reno, Marzabotto in 2017 which makes leather and fabric items. Believing strongly that work is an extraordinary tool for social inclusion, Cartiera offers paths for employment and integration of disadvantaged people, mainly refugees and asylum seekers. In this way, Cartiera overcomes the prejudice which relegates migrants to unqualified jobs and trains them as leather craftworkers.

By cooperating with professional Italian leather craftworkers, Cartiera keeps training its employees to ever higher strandards and the quality of items is guaranteed. Cartiera promotes Italian craft skills and includes them in the global network of the Ethical Fashion Initative programme. This project is run by the International Trade Centre (United Nations) and aims to connect small craft workshops from the Southern hemisphere with major international fashion brands.

Cartiera is also an excellent example in the field of environmental sustainability. All items are produced from leather and fabrics recovered from big "Made in Italy" brands, promoting a circular economy process through upcycling techniques. The money made by selling the items keeps the project going.

Main activity field
Main results

Cartiera has achieved remarkable results since it was set up, establishing relationships with various local and international companies in order to recover and reuse discarded materials.

  • Specifically, Cartiera has transformed 14 tonnes of leather which would otherwise have been thrown away.
  • Cartiera has trained 115 people in the leather goods sector, activated 16 internships and hired 11 people, mainly migrants.
  • Furthermore,Cartiera has won 7 national and international awards, including the 'Welcome. Working For Refugees' award and the ‘EU4fairwork’ prize.