On this week's episode of The WAM Podcast, host, Linda Rigano, sat down with a self-made, fearless influencer and leader in the textile industry, Stephanie Benedetto. Through her business, Queen of Raw, Stephanie has found a unique marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, aiming to reduce the amount of wastage and pollution that burning fabric and landfills entail.
You will be surprised to hear how many companies are unaware of their dead stock inventory and the unusable fabrics that take up valuable storage space. And it is precisely this problem that Stephanie is passionate about solving. She shares about her family history in the fabric business, and how her great grandfather was the first to inspire her down this career path. Stephanie and Linda also talk a bit about the recognition that she and her business have gained and about the encouraging feedback they continue to get from customers and clients who are also trying to reduce their carbon footprints.
"If we continue at the current pace of textile production, by 2025, two-thirds of the entire world's population is going to face shortages of fresh water and be exposed to hazardous chemicals."—Stephanie Benedetto @queenofraw
Guest, Stephanie Benedetto
Corporate attorney turned fashion tech and sustainability entrepreneur, Stephanie Benedetto, is the Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, a marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, keeping it out of landfills and turning pollution into profit. Prior to starting Queen of Raw, Stephanie worked as a lawyer in the fashion, media/entertainment, start-up, and technology industries and co-founded a sustainable textile manufacturing facility.
An advocate for women in business and sustainability, her companies have been featured in NPR, Good Morning America, NYTimes, Vogue, WWD, ELLE, Cheddar, Parade, WCBS, United Nations, Fortune, Entrepreneur, WIRED, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and Fast Company.
Stephanie is a NASA/NIKE/IKEA/DELL LAUNCH.org Innovator, a Grand Prize WeWork Creator Awards Winner presented by Ashton Kutcher, a thredUP Circular Fashion Fund Recipient, was nominated as a Founder to Watch by Women 2.0, and was a Finalist for the WGSN Global Fashion Awards, Rent the Runway/UBS Project Entrepreneur, and the $1M Verizon Powerful Answers Award. She is a member of Pledge 1% and Founding Member of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, along with Aveda, Kering, and Stella McCartney.
Host, Linda Rigano
Linda Rigano is the Principal Consultant of The Rigano Group. Her expertise and enthusiasm for strategic and effective communication permeate all that she does as a consultant to B2B and B2C technology, manufacturing, supply chain, and publishing organizations to improve business performance and stakeholder relationships by building highly successful and measurable communications programs.
With over 20 years of industry experience, Linda has excelled in helping organizations advance the discussion of important industry issues. She was central to the development and promotion of ThomasNet’s annual Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey on the state of manufacturing, the ThomasNet/ISM “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” Recognition Program, and ThomasNet’s North American Scholarship Program. Linda also served as Director of Strategic Alliances for ThomasNet, and for many years was the Publisher of the Thomas Food Industry Register.
Throughout her career, Linda has been an active participant and presenter for manufacturing, supply management, and business associations. She is widely quoted in business and trade media, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Nightly Business Report, and Industry Today. Linda holds an MBA in marketing from Fordham University.
Connect with Linda Rigano on LinkedIn.