Member Article

British Prison Reform Charity Collaborates with Terracotta Row to Launch Sustainable Bag Collection for the V&A

London-based prison reform charity, Leather Inside Out™, has announced that it has joined forces with sustainable accessory brand, Terracotta Row, to create a collection of socially and eco conscious bags for the V&A Museum, which have been crafted by women in prison and on release.

The stylish tote bags have been created by female prisoners and ex-prisoners, as part of Leather Inside Out’s training programme ‘Design for Life’ – which offers prisoners and ex-prisoners the opportunity to learn transferable fashion industry and craft skills in training, whilst earning the National Minimum Wage, so that they can build a new life upon release.

The Design for Life programme was launched by Leather Inside Out™ in 2019 to help address the UK’s reoffending cycle which has been linked to prisoners being taught outdated skills and paid low wages under the Prisoner Earnings Act 1996, making it impossible for those leaving custody to find employment, maintain family ties and source accommodation upon release.

Created as part of the V&A Museum’s ‘Bags: Inside Out’ exhibition, the bags have a playful and bright aesthetic, combined with strong, waterproof industrial coated fabrics, designed to survive in the elements for years. The fabrics are sourced from discarded industry materials that end up in landfill unless salvaged, breathing new life into waste.

The ‘Bags: Inside Out’ exhibition is the UK’s most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the ultimate fashion accessory. From designer handbags to despatch boxes, vanity cases to military rucksacks, the exhibition will explore our longstanding fascination with the bag.

Victoria Kate Johns, ex-prisoner and Founder of Leather Inside Out™, says:

“I passionately believe that responsibility for prison rehabilitation is collective, and society wide. We know that the current UK criminal justice system is not working as it should be, and action needs to be taken in order to help prisoners and ex-offenders begin a positive chapter in their lives once their custodial sentences have been completed.

“The Design for Life programme has the potential to unlock doors for many prisoners and ex-offenders in the U.K. - delivering opportunity and purpose via education, skills in training and employment in the British leather craft and fashion industry and leading by example for these sectors.

“I’m delighted that our bags have been selected to feature within the V&A’s ‘Bags: Inside Out’ exhibition, and cannot wait to see the public’s response to them.”

Saher Oliver Samman, Terracotta Row founder, says:

“With over a decade of accessories design experience we’ve managed to redesign, refine and improve our range to deliver the finest product we can create at an affordable price range and we’re always dreaming up new and unique ideas.

“I’m proud to collaborate with Leather Inside Out on the Design for Life programme as the charity holds the same compassionate beliefs as Terracotta Row.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Peter Callahan .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular morning London email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read