We spoke to Katie Kolodinski, founder of Montreal- and Aussie-based clothier Silk Laundry, about sustainability, building a brand with integrity and her quest to save the monarch butterfly.
AS TOLD TO: Sara Baron-goodman
ILLUSTRATION BY: Callahan Bracken
It’s exciting to see a shift of responsibility within individual clothing brands, and the industry as a whole is responding to the public call for better sustainability practices. At Silk Laundry, we understand that we’re part of a larger ecosystem—you can’t destroy the planet you live on or the industry you work in. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I feel passionately about the plights so many creatures face. I think that offering a positive action people can take, as well as raising awareness through education, is key to getting a wider audience involved in the fight for species protection. One of our recent initiatives is to give milkweed seed packets to Canadian Silk Laundry customers in an effort to help repopulate the monarch butterfly along its migratory path from Canada to Mexico. (Monarch butterflies rely on the milkweed plant to lay their eggs during their migration.) When I was in Mexico, I learned about the ways in which the monarch’s habitat is being destroyed. Being able to see these butterflies in such large numbers, looking so magical, inspired me to think about how I could contribute to their preservation. A little bit of research and speaking with experts led us to the idea. Animals and the climate are both essential to all that we do and love; any care given to ourselves or to another species should also be given to the planet.
THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED
“Early on in my career, I was told that it’s better to have one pair of great shoes than a selection of crappy shoes. Though this philosophy applies most obviously to retail, I think it also underscores the relationship that can be built between a brand and its clientele. Valuing quality over quantity, much like longevity over trends, is an important message that should be the basis of any business.”