Concalma, designer Matilsha Marxuach’s line of practical handbags totes and messenger bags, are designed with the philosophy, “to slow the pace.” In Spanish, “con calma” literally means, “at ease, to approach everything calmly,” and the brand incorporates this idea into their process every step of the way. From their manufacturing that takes place in a women’s cooperative located in the mountains of Puerto Rico – right down to the packaging, when a bag is purchased it is wrapped in colorful old magazines, these trendy bags are strategically designed to be compliant, reusable and ecologically responsible. With these business and design alternatives the Concalma brand makes a strong case for the value of a triple bottom line by design (TBLD) philosophy.
Their strategy begins by a careful selection of materials from natural local resources followed by a manufacturing process which is conducted by local seamstresses, allowing the brand to produce inventory while also supporting the local community. As environmentally conscious as Concalmais, their efforts do not end at register; as part of their sales structure gives consumers several options for disposing of their purchased items. These options include, trading their item in for a discount on their next purchase, exchanging their used item for something from Concalma’s selection of used bags, or purchasing a more costly item from the reused line for a cheaper price.
In addition to bags, Concalma recently introduced a line of skirts, a collaboration with the like-minded, socially conscious designer Sally Torres. All of Concalma’s fashion items can be found online or in their store, La Tienda, located in Old San Juan Puerto Rico. No matter how trendy the consumers, rest assured there are always fashionable eco-conscious solutions and Concalma is one of them.