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Economy

Brazilian Slum Artisans Open Their First Shop - In A Rio Luxury Mall

From the slums of Rio to the city's wealthiest neighborhood, The Handcraft and Sewing Co-operative of Rocinha has come a long way, catching the eye of fashion gods such as Christian Lacroix and Carlos Miele.

Coopa-Ropa workshop (Instituto Rio Moda)
Coopa-Ropa workshop (Instituto Rio Moda)
Luiza Souto

RIO DE JANEIRO - After three decades of producing handcrafts and clothes for other brands or in collaboration with famous fashion designers, a group of artisans from Rio's impoverished Rocinha favela are finally opening their own shop – in São Conrado, one of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods.

The Handcraft and Sewing Co-operative of Rocinha, or Coopa-Roca, is set to open its first shop in a luxury shopping center called Fashion Mall. "We felt the need to sell directly to the customers," says project founder Maria Teresa Leal, 54.

Since its founding 31 years ago, Coopa-Roca has worked with some veritable fashion giants, including Carlos Miele of Brazil and France's Christian Lacroix. But the organization hails from Latin America's largest slum.

Rocinha was ‘pacified" in November 2011, meaning the government used police and soldiers to seize control of the area away from drug dealers.

The new Coopa-Roca shop will be surrounded by Brazilian luxury brands like Maria Bonita and Constança Basto. It will feature roughly 1,000 products, including decorative items, women's clothing and accessories. "They are not for mass consumption because they are all handmade. But we are not going to charge lots of money from customers," says Maria Teresa.

Coopa-Roca works with approximately 100 artisans, all of them from Rocinha. They produce the pieces at home and receive between $50 and $500 per month.

Read more from Floha de S. Paulo

Photo – Instituto Rio Moda

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Green

Good COP, Bad COP? How Sharm El-Sheik Failed On The Planet's Big Question

The week-long climate summit in Egypt managed to a backsliding that looked possible at some point, it still failed to deliver on significant change to reverse the effects of global warming.

Photo of a potted tree lying overturned on the ground in Sharm el-Sheikh as the COP27 summit concludes.

A potted tree lies overturned on the ground in Sharm el-Sheikh as the COP27 summit concludes.

Matt McDonald*

For 30 years, developing nations have fought to establish an international fund to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit in Egypt wrapped up over the weekend, they finally succeeded.

While it’s a historic moment, the agreement of loss and damage financing left many details yet to be sorted out. What’s more, many critics have lamented the overall outcome of COP27, saying it falls well short of a sufficient response to the climate crisis. As Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow, noted:

"Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 °C was weak. Unfortunately it remains on life support."

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