Co-Founders Barbara Bremer & Carolina Herrera of Binge speak about their journey in the business of sustainable fashion using only upcycled cotton and supporting the local female artisans from Mexico.
The Binge journey really started a few years ago when my partner and I moved to New York City for our professional studies. Being able to study at one of the leading design schools in the USA, Parsons, we were lucky to learn from teachers and peers who were constantly concerned with pressing issues such as – the depletion of our planet’s natural resources, fair
trade practices in manufacturing, and how the fashion industry has an important role in impacting our world and society.
Our brand was born out of an evening of knitting and wine. We would knit everything from afghans and beanies. Mitts and scarves were our specialties. As the winter grew near, classmates and friends started asking if they could buy some of our creations. We thought this was a great way to earn some extra money while doing something we loved!
Soon, we couldn’t help but notice the excitement our first round of clients had with their hand-knit items; they were extremely eager to tell the story of it’s origin. Our knits were connecting us with each customer at a personal level.
Fast-forward to a few years later, we are now based in Monterrey, Mexico. We have expanded from winter accessories to handbags; and most recently, to our first pair of handcrafted sandals!
At the heart of our brand are two core values; maintaining an ethical approach to fashion, and supporting local female artisans.
We provide women from low-income communities in Mexico with workshops; where they learn about fabrics, design, and quality standards. Everyday, we see them garner additional skills as the quality of their labor is enhanced, and as a result they find fulfilment in their progression. Boosting their confidence and providing a source of income for their family is the most meaningful aspect of what we do.
We can’t stress enough on our need to create. To us, it’s always been about creating something beautiful from a simple and enjoyable process. This is where our name “Binge Knitting” stems from – from not being able to put down our knitting needles or crochet hook until our project takes shape. We love to experiment with unexpected materials, modern shapes, and traditional stitching techniques.
Using high-quality, sustainable, and durable materials is very important to us. Our handbag collections are all made using upcycled and recycled cotton fabrics. We have personally visited the European textile mills we work with, and it is amazing to see that for decades, these fabrics were just discarded as unusable trash! We curate and reincarnate these fabrics to create beautiful masterpieces. We’re thrilled to be a part of the sustainable and ethical fashion movement!
Everyday brings a new lesson, fresh ideas, and opportunities for growth. Our ultimate goal is to grow our community of female knitters, bring their skill to other corners of the world, and closely connect our customers with the process.
We hope to expand our product line to include a wide variety of items for both the closet and within the home. Now more than ever, we are seeing technology being integrated into garments and accessories; transforming what was once only wearable into performing gadgets – such as temperature regulating clothing and jewellery inspired fitness trackers.
We strongly believe that as the demand for “smart fashion” continues to rise, a craving and interest for recycling will grow as well. Eco-friendly innovation and technologies (such as new upcycling methods and environmental textiles) will start to take over as consumers see the importance of sustainability and responsible consumption when it comes to fashion.
-Written by Nirali Malji
Founder, Lacuna Lab Agency, An innovative marketing agency dedicated to introduce the Future of Fashion
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