Cooperative Lili – Women’s Penitentiary II in Tremembé, São Paulo (Brazil)

What it is

The first social cooperative of inmates and ex-inmates officially registered in the state of São Paulo, and the second one in Brazil. The co-op’s implementation inside the prison started in March of 2018, the co-op’s social contract was approved by the Commercial Board of the State of São Paulo in February of 2019. Co-op Lili focuses on producing high quality fabric products. H360 built two workshops, one inside the jail, and another one at Casa Tereza, located in the neighboring town of Taubaté (SP). In May of 2019, the co-op counted with 33 members: 29 inmates and 4 that had been released.

Objective

Improve and give continuity to the original model of Coostafe (Social Cooperative of Female Entrepreneurial Art), created in Belém do Pará (a city in the Brazilian northern state of Pará), allowing the dissemination of the concept of entrepreneurship of inmates and ex-inmates to other parts of Brazil and abroad. Its main goal is to reduce the recidivism of ex-detainees.

 Co-op Lili focuses on producing high quality fabric products

Co-op Lili focuses on producing high quality fabric products

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In order to ensure the success of the cooperative’s business model, designers Renato Imbroisi and Cristiana Pereira Barretto began, in May 2018, to provide one-week workshops for the women prisoners of the Women’s Penitentiary 2 of Tremembé (SP). The work focused on two objectives: to improve the techniques of the co-op members (cutting and sewing, crochet and embroidery), and to develop the first line of products of the cooperative.


In the second workshop, the pieces developed in a collaborative way began to take shape. The shapes of the iron bars present in all the bars of the penitentiary were incorporated into the sewn pieces. The name of this first collection was born there: “Chic Cell”.


The launching of the products happened in great style and even before the formal registration of the cooperative. A fundraising auction at A CIVI-CO in São Paulo brought together personalities from the world of media and business, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Between the bids, testimonials and interviews, including the first co-op member to be released from prison, the event was a touching experience for everyone.


Links

Cooperativa muda vida de detentas em penitenciária em Tremembé” (story in Portuguese from TV Vanguarda, an affiliate of Globo Network in the Paraíba Valley)

:Presas de SP criam cooperativa e empreendem da cadeia: ‘Tenho direito de tentar mudar’” (story in Portuguese from the BBC Brazil)

Incubadora de Startups Formadas em Prisões Transforma Detentas em Donas do Próprio Negócio” (story in Portuguese from the magazine Pequenas Empresas, Grandes Negócios)

Tereza: conheça a cooperativa que ressocializa detentas através do empreendedorismo e do consumo consciente” (article on the website Finanças Femininas)