I had the opportunity to attend the 4th Annual BF+DA Positive Impact Awards on December 6th. Prior to the awards I was able to walk around and see all the wonderful designers that were showcasing their designs and products. I interviewed some of my favorites to find out more about their process and what makes them stand out in the industry.
Annie Huntley the owner and designer of Dotted Line works with found objects that are gathered across Europe and the Middle East from flea markets and antique shops. She works a lot with religious iconography, charms, chains and findings that are antique and vintage to make her beautiful jewelry pieces.
Mandy Kordal started out designing sweaters and knits and now Kordal Studio produces a full women’s collection. They focus on ethical fashion and sustainability. They use natural fibers, up-cycled materials, alpaca and cotton. All of their items have certifications and are fair trade factory certified.
Based in Brooklyn, the Ajaie Alaie collection features wovens made in India and knits from Peru. Their philosophy for their products focuses on self-love, self-care and the chakra points. Each item has a tag behind the label that describes the chakra point. They want you to read the tag as you are getting dressed and to be reminded to love yourself.
Arielle started Four Rabbit for sustainable travel clothing with the tagline “look good getting lost”. She felt like there was a gap in fashionable travel clothing and gear. Arielle started with scarves that were digitally printed and then hand dyed. One of her newer ventures is her Tsunami Jacket that is made out of tyvek with a zero waste pattern. She used the BF+DA for her pattern making and sample development. The jackets are unisex, water resistant, windproof and ultra light with nine pockets in total. In addition they come in their own stuff sack. Her newest venture is an ultra-light packable blazer made from tyvek so that it can travel well.
The creative studio Milo Tricot specializes in knitwear that is sustainable. In the creative studio they do consulting and collaborate with designers and artists. They train women in India to block print and help produce items. The studio support all women and non-binary people. The Milo Tricot motto is- People, Planet and Profits.
The travel inspired t-shirts of Around Eco are good for the environment and people. Everything is eco friendly, fair trade certified and made to order so that there is no waste. The t-shirts are made out of 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled plastic bottles. All the designs are handmade and hand printed in NY.
The social enterprise Custom Collaborative is located in NY and works with women in low-income communities and immigrants. Custom Collaborative supports them as they develop businesses and careers for themselves in sustainable fashion. They teach them to design and sell fashion and accessories. It is a 14 week, 30 hour a week program to teach them the skills they need to succeed. They also have a business incubator for further education open to all business owners.
Alison of Flora Obscura makes hand dyed silks that are made with natural dyes and flowers. She starts with plain white silk and dyes it a base color then she lays flowers and plants onto the fabric. She then rolls it up and steams it and the flowers imprint their colors into the fabric! Alison uses this material to make kimonos, dresses, scarves, pillowcases and more.
The winners of the BF+DA Positive Impact Awards:
- Weaving Hand‘s Cynthia Alberto for all her weaving work and education in the healing arts
- Alder NY for being one of our success stories from the beginning when we were an incubator down in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
- BF+DA Venture Fellow business Teknikio for their ongoing STEM education featuring their educational electronics toolsets for building and activating toys, gadgets, and wearables.
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