Coming from a family lineage of textiles and design that started in Bolivia and then Argentina, Carolina Kleinman utilized her extensive knowledge in the industry combined with her background in music to inspire and establish her own namesake brand in 2005. After traveling the world with her husband and children, Carolina and her family settled in the magical town of Tepoztlan, Mexico where she started to work with cooperatives of artisans. She continue to travel to La Paz, Bolivia, Cusco, Peru during the developing stages of her brand, where she combined the traditional work of these different cultures to create the differentiating ingredients of her emerging designs. Carolina’s desire to preserve the history and culture of these communities is a vital part of her DNA and philosophy.
at Carolina K
(Image features Carolina's grandfather with artisans he worked with while living in Bolivia)
Since launching our brand in 2005, we have been committed to creating sustainably made products while supporting artisans across Latin America. From our brand’s inception, we envisioned working with a collective of artisans in remote regions of Latin America and we are honored that we get the opportunity to work with them to this day all year round. We strive to empower and uplift these communities of women and men and are dedicated to preserving their ancestral techniques that have been used over generations. Preserving and highlighting the history and culture of these communities is a vital part of our brand DNA and philosophy. For us, it’s all about making decisions with love and care for the people and planet. By working with these small cooperatives of artisans to create impeccable slow fashion pieces each season, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment.
Our Design Approach
Our Founder and Creative Director, Carolina Kleinman, designs her collections on the foundation of versatility and functionality. Each piece is thoughtfully created and showcases intricate details, timeless silhouettes, and conscious materials.
Throughout our creative process, Carolina travels to the communities, spends time wit the artisans and lives through each collection. carefully evaluate our designs and determine whether they ultimately respect people and the environment. We are diligently working on our core collection of our most-loved wardrobe staples that withstand the test of time.
Our designs are created with responsible fabric choices and each material is chosen with love and the utmost care for the environment. We prioritize natural and recycled fibers to ensure our impact on the environment is as minimal as possible.
To improve our future environmental actions and collections we evaluated materials used in past seasons. Along with collaborating with suppliers on more sustainable material choices, we have also begun requesting certificates for each material to gain more transparency and traceability.
We source only (GOTS) certified organic cotton fabric, which is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
A regenerated cellulose fabric made from cotton waste, cupro is made from 100% plant-based materials, so it’s biodegradable. It is produced in a closed loop like Tencel and Lyocell, which means that the chemicals used can be extracted afterwards and the water can be reused.
Viscose is a plant-based material made from regenerated cellulose fibers from trees such as pine, bamboo and eucalyptus. The raw materials that are used to make our viscose are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, which makes it a sustainable viscose. FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social & economic benefits.
Made from the flax plant, linen is known to be one of the best fibers out there as it requires less energy and water to be produced. It is not only strong, but also breezy and gentle to the touch and the environment since, like organic cotton, it is typically grown without the use of pesticides.
Our most recent swimwear collections are made with ECOCEAN® - Recycled polyester from PET bottles, industrial polyester wastes and even clothing. The printing process is environmentally friendly, being a dry print (without the use of water) and ecological and certified inks.
We have also implemented ECONYL®, A 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from pre and post-consumer waste. Using ECONYL® instead of sourcing new nylon allows us to recycle waste materials and given them new life.
- Hangtags – Made from 100% recycled paper, our hangtags are also printed with soy-based inks.
- Compostable Poly Bags – We have implemented the use of biodegradable poly bags made of Biopolymer of corn starch, brand INZEA reference F10. It is a biodegradable and compostable biopolymer, whose biodegradation process is generated under certain environmental conditions. If these bags are subjected to an industrial composting process, they disappear within a month, otherwise their biodegradation process takes approximately 180 to 360 days, depending on the environmental conditions in which they are found.
- Recycled Hangers – We have begun the switch to recycled cardboard hangers from plastic to continue to minimize the negative impacts of using standard plastic.
Traditional craft preservation and artisanal empowerment is the heart and soul of Carolina K. We work with around 300 artisans from Latin America and India year round whose skilled hands bring our visions to life in thoughtful and sustainable ways. Our distinctive embroidery details and appliqués offer insight into Carolina K’s ongoing commitment to create meaningful clothing that goes beyond simple adornment and highlights our collective’s cultural traditions and craft.
The pieces our female artisans are creating from rural areas of Mexico and Peru are hand-constructed over the course of 10 to 50 days. The culture and tradition of our artisans’ communities are reflected in the textiles and hand embroidery techniques that will live on through many generations to come. Our artisan groups work with the most natural materials to responsibly and ethically create handmade statement pieces without the use of electricity, pesticides or chemicals.
Each of our products are thoughtfully designed and created with responsible materials. Our artisans utilize ancient artisanal techniques to produce unique statement pieces for you to cherish for years to come. Inspired by many cultures, art and music, Carolina K has created a Universe that includes clothing, home and decor that comprise her vibrant lifestyle brand.
Zero Waste Initiative
We are always striving to operate in the most responsible, sustainable way. It’s something we’ve been passionate about since our early days, and we’re continuously looking for ways in which we can do better. To honor our commitment to circular fashion and reduce our environmental impact, we launched our Zero Waste initiative that makes use of every last scrap of fabric. The process used to create our Zero Waste collection is slow and intentional which allows us to give new life to all of our leftover fabrics. We are able to create art-like, one of a kind pieces while being kinder and gentler on the environment. These pieces of fabric that would otherwise be discarded in a landfill, begin a new lifecycle as part of our collection.
We hope that you will join us in giving back to your community, whether it is through donations, volunteering, or conscious everyday actions, there are numerous ways to make a difference.
Lotus House is dedicated to improving the lives of women, youth and children experiencing homelessness. They provide sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to heal, learn, grow and blossom into who they are truly meant to be.
Parley for The Oceans
Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. We believe the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer – given we all have a choice – and the power to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries.
15 Percent Pledge
Established by Aurora James in 2020, the 15 Percent Pledge is a US-based non-profit organization that encourages retailers to pledge at least 15 percent of their shelf-space to black-owned businesses. The Pledge is an invitation to retailers to give their valued community what they are asking for — variation of product and economic equality. It requires a comprehensive re-evaluation of “business as usual” and is an opportunity to create sustainable solutions over a multi-year horizon. It is an opportunity to grow and learn together.