Rags to riches

Speaker Spotlight – Ekologic

It must have been in 1998 or 1999 when ekologic, Inc. first crossed my path.  While jurying the New York International Gift Fair their aesthetic and kindred-ness caught my eye .  We became fast friends bound by an equal passion for environmental action, creative textile reuse, color and fine finish. Kathleen, and her husband Charlie have been in their upcycling studio nearly as long as I have been in mine.

Based in Troy NY, housed in a revitalized church (our similarities are bound-less) ekologic, aligns with the idea that handmade one of a kind clothing, made with love adds meaning and a level of self-expression not found in the fast fashion alternative. Their congruous presentation, consistent attention to detail in product and presentation, clear marketing, and clean, cohesive aesthetic is admirable.  

Here's Kathleen's bio: 

Kathleen Tesnakis, founder of ekologic, Inc. has been a pioneering force in the Green Fashion Movement since 1996. Driven to change overconsumption and single-use ideology, Kathleen has personally transformed over 16 tons of post-consumer woolen garments into revisioned wearable art. Her company, ekologic, specializes in recycling post-consumer cashmere clothing into products that inspire eco-conscious living and empower self-expression. This remade cashmere is created by re-using locally sourced post-consumer textiles, thus eliminating reliance on virgin materials, chemical processing and excessive transportation. The ekologic studio operates as a circular design system where scrap waste trickles down to become heirloom treasures. All ekologic items are handmade in the Troy, NY studio and sold across the United States at juried art shows, galleries and online at www.ekologic.com. ekologic is ‘apparel revisioned for the benefit of people and planet.

Kathleen’s work has been worn to the White House for a power meeting with President Obama about climate policy, found in Antarctica on a new best friend, vaporized after 10 years of service to a Buddhist Lama and whisked away by owls during a peaceful hike. Celebrity sightings include Brad Pitt, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Catherine Keener and many more. 

Awards include Best in Show Milwaukee Art Museum Lakefront Art Festival, Boca Museum Art Festival, Columbus Arts Festival, Award of Excellence - American Craft Council St. Paul.

Kathleen Tesnakis earned a BS in Textiles from Syracuse University. She was nominated as a ‘Rising Star’ by the CFDA, appeared on the cover of Organic Style Magazine, featured in Time Magazine, NY Times, USA Today, Tree Hugger, San Francisco Chronicle and Surface Design Magazine, to name a few.

Spreading the word about recycled products and green living is our passion. Join our newsletter to follow our path www.ekologic.com

ekologic, Inc continues to create relevant, heirloom quality wearables for all genders with ingenuity, focused on high-design.  Kathleen will be sharing their story at Rags To Riches Textile Upcycling Summit on Day 2 - Thursday April 21.  You are not going to want to miss learning from this OG, life-long experimenter and truly sustainable textile upcycling entrepreneur.

Scroll down and leave any questions for ekologic in the comments below.  Learn more about Rags To Riches Textile Upcycling Summit.  Donate to our scholarship fund. Apply for a scholarship by emailing Hello@Crispina.eco with SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION in the subject line.


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