WHO ARE YOU?
Stephanie Benedetto, CEO & Co-Founder, Queen of Raw
Corporate attorney turned fashion tech and sustainability entrepreneur, I am the Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, a marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, keeping them out of landfills and turning pollution into profit. Prior to starting Queen of Raw, I 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, my companies have been featured in NPR, Good Morning America, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I am a 2020 Inc. Female Founders 100, NASA/NIKE/IKEA/DELL LAUNCH.org Innovator, a Grand Prize WeWork Creator Awards Winner presented by Ashton Kutcher, a Cartier Women's Initiative Laureate, and an MIT Solve - Circular Economy Solver. I ´m a Member of Pledge 1% and New York Circular City Initiative and Founding Member of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, along with Aveda, Kering, and Stella McCartney.
WHAT did you do?
“Little known fact: If we continue at the current pace of textile production, by 2025, two-thirds of the entire world’s population will face shortages of fresh water and be exposed to hazardous chemicals”. The textiles industry is the second largest polluter in the world, using tons of water, chemicals, and oils, and burying or burning excess stock that can’t be used. But my company, Queen of Raw, is changing things. “Brands across industries struggle to find raw materials. And factories around the world struggle to sell the millions of tons of excess stock that currently sit in a warehouse and eventually make their way to landfills. Queen of Raw provides the bridge.” I estimate that by 2025 they will be keeping over 4 million tons of textiles out of landfills.
HOW did you do it?
With a long family history in the textile industry- my great-grandfather was a Lower East Side furrier and my grandfather sold army surplus after World War II - I think it’s only natural that I landed where I did, with an eye on the future of the industry. “We launched the company in 2014 and then participated in the Techstars accelerator”. Our next big win came when we competed in the WeWork Creator Awards and were presented with the grand prize cash investment by Ashton Kutcher! Now we are preparing to launch the private version of our site for big companies to buy and sell large volumes of raw materials in a blockchain-enabled marketplace. This helps them make money while also giving them valuable data and analytics around what happens to their materials and the related sustainable benefits.”
WHEN did you start your company?
WHY are you innovating with this service?
Textile production may be the second biggest polluter in the world of clean water globally. But it also means it has the power to solve the world’s water crisis. I want my 5-year-old son and my 1-year-old to have clean water to drink, clothes that aren’t toxic to wear, and a planet to live on.
WHERE are you from?
New York, New York, USA
Marketplace, Software, Machine Learning/AI, Blockchain, Supply Chain, Textiles, Sustainability, Circular Economy