“Fish flower and Fish handbags:
In Recife, Pernambuco on the Northeast Coast of Brazil, mother and daughter team Clarice D’Ávila and Camila Haeckel Blanke, partnered with Noronha Fishery, a local fish refrigeration plant to create a socio-ecological project called Sea & Art. They encouraged the processing plant to donate otherwise discarded fish skins and scales to the unemployed wives and daughters of local fishermen. Working out of a renovated fish storage warehouse in the neighborhood of Brasília, 30 women (and one man) utilized sewing and embroidery techniques to turn waste into beautiful flowers and handbags and other accessories. The socio-ecological project creates contemporary designs using traditional techniques. The project has provided dozens of families with alternative income sources and instilled a sense of pride among the artisans.
Ecostasy’s fish flowers and fish skin locally referred to as fish leather purses are made of pescada amarela or yellow fish (cynoscion sp.), which is a salt water fish found in abundance along the coast of Brazil. This fish can be longer than a meter and weigh 30 kilograms. Skins discarded from processing fish for human consumption are carefully treated in a process with parallels to leather tanning for use as a fabric.”