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Inspired by People: Carolina + Barbara of Binge Knitting

Is there a craft more hands on than knitting?  We love Carolina Herrera & Barbara Bremer of Binge Knitting for so many reasons.  From coming from a serious design background...

Is there a craft more hands on than knitting?  We love Carolina Herrera & Barbara Bremer of Binge Knitting for so many reasons.  From coming from a serious design background at Parsons but utilizing the simple craft of knitting to bringing it all home to their native land in Mexico.  Their refined style combined with traditional roots speaks volumes to the depth of their business and overall sustainable impact.  We asked these two powerhouses a question or two about their inspiration, designs and future.

You all started Binge by knitting yourselves, how did you learn to knit? 

B: We became roommates while attending college at Parsons in New York City, and while living together we found we shared a love for knitting and crochet. It was such a coincidence that we both shared this passion, and it became part of our lifestyle. We would spend snow days, countless evenings, and Sundays on our couch knitting while we watched tv, gossiped, or drank wine. Sometimes all of the above 😄

I (Barbara) learned how to crochet when I was 10 years old. My mother taught me, and to the day she continues to teach me new stitches and techniques. Carolina learned how to knit in a textile class in Parsons. She was instantly passionate about the craft and the ability to create something unique with each stitch.

Do you still knit?

B: Yes! We are still as obsessed with knitting and crochet as the day we started Binge. Not a single day goes by where we do not pick up our needles or hook to try out a new material, make swatches, test out new pattern ideas, or to simply continue on a personal project. We truly enjoy what we do, and think this has been a key ingredient to our brand growth.

What are the benefits and challenges of working with upcycled material?

The upcycled materials we use in our Eco Clutches come from European textile mills. They are high-quality, excess fabrics that result from clothing manufacturing. One of the benefits of using upcycled material is that we have access to infinite tonalities and textures of fabrics. For us, this benefit represents a great challenge as well, as it becomes important to train our collaborators to adapt to various textures and widths of yarn. The greatest benefit of all is to be able to make a beautiful product out of material that would otherwise be considered waste.

Do you see yourselves working with other forms of upcycled material outside of cotton in the future?

B: Absolutely. We will continue to look for ways to incorporate upcycled materials into our designs. As the conversation about sustainable materials advances in the fashion industry, we believe more options of upcycled materials will become available.

If you could describe Nuevo Leon (base of Binge Knitting) in three words, how would you describe it?

B: Dynamic, Entrepreneurial, Prosperous 

What made you decide to focus on the ethical/sustainable fashion route?

C: Since the beginning we were intrigued by the rising interest in sustainable fashion, and the challenge designers face when it comes to offering a well-designed, sustainable product. We took this opportunity to offer consumers an alternative to fast fashion, and invite them to embrace products that will transcend seasons, not just in style, but in unyielding quality.

What is your favorite piece of Binge Knitting you make?

C: My favorite piece is the Frida Eco Clutch. This piece was one of the first handbags we designed and has since become a brand staple. I think it is a great representation of what we stand for as designers: Taking rooted manufacturing traditions, learning from them, and developing a transcending design.

How would you describe your style?

C: Our style as a brand is timeless yet unexpected. We love to play with traditional manufacturing techniques and modernize them with contemporary silhouettes and playful details.

What is your favorite part of the design/development process?

C: My favorite part of the design process comes after developing a concept based on research and inspiration. Prototyping. It’s when our ideas come to life and we are able to fully grasp the look and feel of a new collection, it’s very exciting!

What are the top three things to see/do in Nuevo Leon?

B: We currently reside in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, a dynamic yet traditional city with lots of activities, landmarks, and history . For someone who likes the outdoors, we would recommend exploring and hiking in La Huasteca and/or Parque Chipinque, which have beautiful views of the city. Another great option for a day stroll is the downtown area “Barrio Antiguo”, where you can find some great museum and very traditional Mexican architecture. Paseo Santa Lucia, Museo Marco and Museo de Historia are some of the attractions you will find there.

Are the artisans you work with a close knit (pun intended) bunch?

B: Love this question! We currently work with artisans that live in 5 different communities in our local area. Each community is a separate neighborhood, so the artisans who live close by are friends, relatives, or have gotten to know each other through Binge.

In the future, we would love to have an open space where all communities can come together to enjoy knitting together.


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