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​Our History

Apoena Bolsas emerged in 2015, through an idea by Mr. Wilson Roque Bonfanti, father of our creative director Maiara Andressa Bonfanti. In the same year they started researching names and making the first prototypes. But it was in 2016, on March 11, that the brand was presented to the local community, in the most traditional festival in the municipality, the Festa do Butiá. Apoena makes bags from the butia palm leaf, which is a palm tree native to the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Each bag is handcrafted using butiá leaves. This genus of palm is distributed in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay in natural groups known as butiazais or palmares, highly valued for its scenic, biodiversity and historical-cultural value.

Its entire process is handcrafted, from harvesting the leaves, respecting the proper moons for this work, which are the full moon and the crescent moon. The idea of the brand is to value the local culture through new perspectives and design, since the leaves of the plants were used as covering for huts and also for the production of baskets, traps for hunting and fishing, hats, bags and nets. Its fruits and seeds (almonds that are inside the coconut) were part of the diet of the indigenous people who inhabited the pampas.

When Maiara started to develop the pieces, one of her thoughts was about the responsibility of the brand towards the trees (butia trees) and how  they would use the leaves of this palm tree  which are already on the extinction list, so together with EMBRAPA and SEMA - secretary of the environment, they got the leaf extraction document, where the company se  undertakes to take care of the remnants and is responsible with the new seedlings and new plantings within the space the family owns, in addition to respecting the time of harvesting each foot.

Thinking about how Apoena can contribute to preserving our culture and valuing it, the brand also participates in the Butiazais Route, a project that unites cities and countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, and offers support for projects that keep alive countless meanings for communities and where it is inserted. In addition to the economic impact, we understand that there is an affective bond that is often related to family ties. The meanings constructed over time generate community recognition. This recognition is constantly rearranged, as the life of the community also changes, making crafts an important part of the local culture.

A cultural and immaterial asset for all.

Our creation comes from the desire to offer a sustainable fashion design alternative with conscious consumption, a reconnection with nature and that, even so, has fashion value in its products. In this way, we hope to guarantee a more sustainable future for the next generations, awakening people's interest in new consumption possibilities and making them aware of the importance of such attitudes for an ethical and sustainable society. And this is possible by choosing pieces that do not aggravate the situation of the environment and that, at the same time, become an exotic, exclusive product that follows design trends, with strong roots in slow fashion.

We are a family business, made by women from our community. We have Tupi blood and come from a region of indigenous lands, with great natural riches. And this story inspires the name "apoena" which is an indigenous word that means "THE ONE WHO SEES AWAY".

The apoena is like this: 100% BRAZILIAN, FAIR, EXCLUSIVE, HANDMADE, SUSTAINABLE AND VISIONARY handmade and with lots of love and respect.


If you want to talk, exchange ideas or learn more about our work, send us a message, we will be very happy to answer you!

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