Sustainable and animal free luxury fashion by Mateja Benedetti

Author: Tanja Glogovčan

Date: 1. November 2019

Time to read: 3 min

Mateja Benedetti first attended the secondary school of design in Ljubljana and later pursued her studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana. After earning her degree in Slovenia, she furthered her knowledge at an academy of arts in the Netherlands.

There she learned about conceptual design, which was a turning point in her creative process. She is a fashion and costume designer.

Her clothes are unique, made of ecological and nature-friendly materials. The way she creates impresses Slovenians and is winning over the world.

And this very mixture of originality, excellence, environmental awareness and uniqueness has also aroused our curiosity. Mateja Benedetti is different and makes bolder choices than many in the fashion industry and world of performing arts. This bubbly personality from the Primorska region never runs out of ideas.

A passionate advocate of ecology

Back in 2014 Vogue Italia ranked her fashion brand as one of the TOP 20 most promising eco brands in the world, while her work was featured this year in the book Exploring Extraordinary, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the carmakers Rolls Royce and Bentley. She has made it her mission to raise ecological awareness, which she pursues with all her heart.

Mateja has also focused on bringing changes to luxury fashion trends, given that the fashion market sees a far higher number of middle and lower-priced brands producing eco-friendly clothing.

She is constantly looking for new, innovative organic materials, such as apple and pineapple leather. This has attracted the attention of the world media and all those who recognise high quality products and industry innovations, such as Vogue, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. She only designs ready-to-wear, in other words real industrial products prepared for mass production, and ultimately for the buyer. The collection offers daywear and evening wear, alongside knitwear and fashion accessories.

Within each collection there are always one or two pieces that are high fashion, designed exclusively for exhibitions and brand image, with prices in the ranking of Haute Couture clothing. Most often, such clothing is purchased by collectors, VIPs and brand lovers.

All innovative materials included in one or more seasons are the result of intensive global market research or cooperation with factories. A factory has recently approached her with a request to create an apple-leather collection for them. When using by-products from the food processing industry, waste products are always mixed with binders. Apple leather is apple waste from apple juice or jam production, while the binder used is polyurethane, which is an oil derivative, so subsequent recycling is problematic. In contrast to apple leather, pineapple leather manufacturing already uses PLA (polylactide), which is naturally biodegradable because it is of natural origin - starch. The Benedetti Life fashion brand is based on extremely strict environmental protection criteria.

The brand uses eco-certified textiles that do not pollute water and soil and the transport of the product is monitored.

Furthermore, their collections are free of fabrics derived from animals. Benedetti only uses recycled textiles when necessary, since they cannot guarantee renewed recycling.

Mateja Benedetti presented her brand at the first Vegan Fashion Week in Los Angeles, which in terms of history was a turning event in world of fashion. She also received numerous ovations at the Natural History Museum. Moreover, her brand received the attention of magazines such as The New York Times, NYLON, and Vogue. She won the prestigious Green Carpet Award, which is awarded each year at the Milan theatre La Scala during Milan Fashion Week. This is an elite event featuring the global names of fashion industry, celebrating a bright future and rewarding eco-oriented fashion companies.

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She also fancies her Slovenian colleagues

Mateja Benedetti deeply appreciates Slovenian fashion and designers. Although not all have entered the world stage yet, she believes that Slovenia has incredibly talented designers, including jewellery makers. She extensively cooperates with brands such as Olgafacesrok, Niiro, Dalijo Sega, Petro Bole and Wood Stock Eyewear. For Wood Stock Eyewear she designed an eco-line of parrot-themed wooden sunglasses.