We find ourselves returning to New York quite frequently these days (only online visits though), as there are so many young (female!) designers and entrepreneurs currently located in the city, running businesses developed around a sustainable agenda. One such woman is artist Benedicte Lux, one of many Scandinavians who have made a cross-atlantic one-way-trip and ended up on Manhattan.
The interdisciplinary Norwegian (she has also released work as a fine arts photographer, writer, curator, art director, performer etc.) just launched a luxurious loungewear line called Supernaturae, made from fine artisanal materials that she hand-dyes using food waste in her Lower East Side studio. But her sustainable commitment goes way beyond the brand, making her one of the most inspiring people we’ve come across lately.
Tell us about how you work!
– I currently produce on an order-by-order basis with local seamstresses in Lower East Side, New York. I hand-dye the fabrics with waste from local restaurants, essentially recycling their organic waste. I prefer natural dyes that don’t require a chemical fixative—for this collection I used avocado pits as they have natural tannins in them that allow the color to stick. It also lets me have conversations around slowness and textile waste. In association with my collection, I’ve been hosting workshops to teach people about natural dyes and to continue the conversation around textile health in a friendly, fun and interesting environment.
What about the fabrics?
– I source my silks from hand-weavers in India, through artisanal networks. I’m moving my production out there in order to be able to create an impact on a larger scale, working directly with NGOs. This is set to launch for wholesale for Resort 19. I’m very passionate about the preservation of textile culture and artisanal craft, and creating further job opportunities in these areas. The handwork is unparalleled worldwide.
How would you describe your commitment to sustainability?
– I work from the fiber up, looking at sustainability as a way to build value into the supply chain. How can we source the most non-harmful textiles that also protect and promote peace and well-being for all creatures and continue a tradition of cultural heritage?
– For example in silks, something many people don’t consider is that this is a non-vegan product. I use ahimsa silk (peace silk) when possible and strive for my ethics to be considered throughout the entire garment, abiding by the mindset of non-violence (ahimsa; non-violence, peace) while harnessing and celebrating the beauty and magic of nature.
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