Each garment designed by Matea Benedetti is made using the finest natural fabrics, organic where possible and dyed with botanical extracts or eco-friendly dyestuffs to achieve the desired predominant colour theme. Artificial fertilizer, antibiotics and growth hormones are strictly forbidden. All materials are certified, biodegradable or recycled. Every season is an exploration of animal species in serious decline due to human expansion into their natural habitats, hunting, and climate change. Matea Benedetti supports fair trade products and the impeccable touch of Italian manufacturing.
She started her carrier as a costume designer for opera houses and theatres. Ever since she was a student, she had an extreme passion for sustainable fashion. That's why she seted herself to create a luxury brand engaged with the environment. From the first Milan Showroom, in Via Montenapoleone, to the first articles in international media, her brand, Matea Benedetti, continues growing, not only in design and innovation fields but also by spreading its commitment to fashion to serve the well-being of our ecosystem.
Matea defines herself as playful, feminine and spiritual. She opens the doors of her wardrobe for us: “I wear 30% Matea Benedetti, 30% vintage, 30% high-quality garments and 10% Fast-fashion clothes. I love organic cosmetics and good locally produced food” – she says.
Three words define Matea Benedetti’s work: Sustainability, Innovation and Luxury. But… why did she decide to create an innovative eco brand? “Mainly because I’m not a person who complains or whines and I never shift my responsibility to people with more wealth, influence or who are in a better position. When I set my mind to do something, I simply do it. Basically, I realized that there is no more time for making excuses and everyone has to contribute. There is something very wrong with the mainstream fashion industry, which does not only pollute our water, ground and air, but threatens peoples health and it’s profoundly unethical”.
At the beginning there was only the inspiration. The first collection and the testing at the multibrand store in Slovenia soon followed. The realization that she needed to think globally came later at her first showroom in Via Montenapoleone, Milano, Italy. It was quite an effort to get together a good team that could, with the help of an investor, withstand the pressure and succeed in this saturated market. Now, after four years of testing various materials, research and market analysis, Matea Benedetti is ready to get her products into retail stores.
“We have a presentation on an international Conference of Circular Economy in Slovenia in May, after that we are planning a big fashion show dedicated to coral reefs at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Ljubljana. From June 1 to June 3, 2018, we’ll be presenting our collection at the 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Biennale in Paris” – she declares. The product is finally ready for the market, now she just have to convince the buyers to enter her shops worldwide. Her clothing is not just about price and beauty, there are more important things behind it.
Matea finds that creating aestatically appealing clothes with very limited choice of materials, patterns and colors is the most challenging part of her dream. “Packaging, printing, transportation means and routes, especially air transport, have to be considered, not to mention that things like “eco lace” don’t yet exist. In short, we follow a series of very strict rules and criteria that I set up and are never to be deviated. This all limits my creativity to some extent and creates additional costs, which makes it hard to compete at low price levels. Nevertheless, we are still competitive and can differentiate ourselves from the other brands. I always encourage people to buy clothes they really like, ecology should just be an added value and ethics, in this unethical world, is our competitive advantage”.
It may be the reason why Matea Benedetti was selected as one of the five finalists of Green Carpet Fashion Talents Awards. “Green Carpet Award has placed the sustainable fashion on a luxurious level for the first time in history – she underlines - A new phenomenon of promoting sustainable luxury that doesn’t stand out at any cost, has emerged. The Awards itself helped the finalists to gain recognition in a very short time. For example, Suzy Menkes from Vogue International called to congratulate me for my appleskin dress, I was also invited to a High-End Conference in Kuwait, where I gave a speech about innovations in sustainable fashion. The finalists were also given a chance to attend a one year learning course with the Value Retail experts on how to globally position a fashion brand. I’m still very thankful for all the emails, interviews and invitations I received on the account of being a Green Carpet finalist, not to mention the fact that my appleskin dress was worn by Livia Firth”.
There are lots of young Designers who would love to enter this Prize or, at least, to change the fashion World. We ask Matea to give them some advices: “You are the future, never give up. Sustainability is the only way to survive on the planet. So never stop believing that, because you are on the right path. Being a sustainable designer means having a less self-centered way of thinking. Connect with others and don't be afraid to share and co-create, be curious and love what you do.” – nice tips.
The actual SS2018 Collection of Matea Benedetti, called Birds of Paradise, is the result of a brilliant experiment with apple waste from a company that produces bottled apple juice. We featured it in one of our fashion editorials: Space-Time Explorations
For next Fall/Winter 2018/19, she presents “Coral reefs: A paradise in decline”. “My inspiration comes from coral reefs, one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. The fact that most of the world's coral reefs are potentially threatened by human activity pushed me to dedicate a collection to this amazing ecosystem. We invested all our energy in researching beautiful fish patterns and new sustainable materials such as Pinatex - vegan leather made from pineapple leaves. We developed patterns inspired by marine life in order to create a colorful and exquisite collection to match the beauty of different fish species”.
Coral reef fish exhibit a huge variety of dazzling and sometimes bizarre colors and patterns. The patterns have different functions, sometimes for camouflage or to help recognize the fish during mating. Matea used different species to design patterns and print them on different organic textiles, all GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard).
As she tells us: “We developed a 100% sustainable knitted garments made with yarn for the first time. The yarn is made of recycled polyester coming from garbage recycling of common plastic bottles. The obtained fibers are then blended together with regenerated cotton fibers that come from industrial waste. The collection uses only organic, natural, and certified materials such as organic silk, hemp, organic cotton, organic wool, bamboo, and pineapple leather. No synthetic lining is allowed”. This Fall/Winter 2018 collection will be available from July 2018 on its e-shop and in a few shops in the US.