The Creative Spot

Get to know the designer reimagining vegan fashion

Mateja Benedetti, the founder of sustainable fashion label Benedetti Life, was inspired into design when eco-friendly materials came to the fore. We get to know a little more about her…

Expressive and imaginative, Benedetti Life is the label giving a voice to endangered species through collections crafted from plant-based textiles such as pineapple leather, hemp and bamboo.

Based in Slovenia, Mateja Benedetti founded Benedetti Life in 2019, but her journey to becoming a designer wasn’t exactly straightforward. “I never thought I would be a fashion designer. I always loved to draw, ever since I can remember. When I didn’t pass the exams at the Academy of Art in Venice, I moved to study Fashion Design in Ljubljana. After that, I spent 20 years as a costume designer for theatres and opera houses. I worked in Italy, Germany and Slovenia. I moved into sustainable fashion when peace silk [silk made from non-violent breeding and harvesting] first came on the market,” Mateja says.

I moved into sustainable fashion when peace silk [silk made from non-violent breeding and harvesting] first came on the market.

Mateja Benedetti


Along with moving into sustainable fashion, Mateja wanted to create a brand that gave a voice to animals living under threat – the inspiration for which, she found early on in life. “Since I was a child, I loved animals. Benedetti Life is inspired by animal species facing extinction. I wanted not just to create something healthy, sustainable and animal free, but to give a voice to animals without rights, because today, every 24 hours, 200 species die,” she explains.

This animal-focused mission is reflected across Benedetti Life designs, with each collection paying homage to a particular species. “The PARROTS collection is dedicated to parrots threatened by illegal trade and the shrinking of their habitat. Our OCTOPUS collection is a homage to the sea, the oceans and the waters that make life possible. The octopus is beautiful and intelligent, and it can be called a teacher of humanity,” she says.

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Shop the rest of this year’s virtual boutique, filled with rule-breaking, risk-taking designers.

As well as giving a voice to the animal kingdom’s most vulnerable creatures, Mateja’s commitment to conscious clothing plays a key role in everything the brand does. “We are sustainable, animal free and biodegradable. Our garments disappear on landfill in less than five months with minimum impact on soil and air. Our collections contain no synthetics, and we use just plant-based textiles.”

Mateja showcases her brand’s work at this year’s virtual Creative Spot after noticing the parallels between The Bicester Village Shopping Collection and Benedetti Life. “I chose it because shopping [there] is a true journey through luxury, which fits with Benedetti Life. You can relax, slow down from everyday life and do your shopping, and these are the values of Benedetti Life too.”

Shop Mateja Benedetti and other rising stars in our virtual boutique, The Creative Spot, now.

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