silk laundry


When talking to fellow creatives, we often wonder: HOW DO THEY DO IT? To prevent Instagram stalking or doom-scrolling to figure out their secret sauces and success stories, we prefer to ask them face-to-face. Today: an unfiltered conversation with KATIE KOLODINSKI, founder and creative director of SILK LAUNDRY. Cover image: courtesy of Silk Laundry


Tapping into her intuition to delve into the crossroads of mindful living, luxury, and philanthropy, Katie Kolodinski founded Silk Laundry in 2015 after she moved from her home country, Canada, to Australia. The brand’s purpose crystallized around the iconic 90s Silk Slip Dress that marked its inception. For Katie, life is about more than fashion; Silk Laundry has enabled her to work in conservation and storytelling, creating positive changes in how people live and think. Her friends would describe her as passionate, empathetic, and tenacious, and those virtues become apparent when she passionately talks about the different facets of her label. Besides running Silk Laundry, she is at the helm of PROJECT 166, a carbon sequestration and land restoration initiative. With a living as busy as hers, we start wondering how they do it. 

Also, read Sia Arnika: “As I get older, I feel more centered – and it shows in my designs”

Please walk us through an average morning of yours. 

 “Monday to Friday is very different than a weekend. I wake up at 6.45 a.m., puffy and tired. Sometimes, I go for a quick run, and then we race to get the kids to their school bus. I walk everywhere; I pop into my local cafe just after eight and sit to relax for 15 minutes before I head to the studio. By 8.25 a.m., I had started work and video calls with the Australian team. The rest of the Barcelona team arrives at 10.00 a.m., so we move into fittings and collaborative work. On weekends, I stay in bed as long as possible, reading a book and drinking coffee while my kids relax and watch a film on the projector.”

What is your earliest childhood memory that defines who you are today? 

 “When I think of my childhood, I remember most being in gardens and nature with my grandparents, parents, and family. I remember fishing, camping, and swimming in lakes. I remember picking dandelions, watching butterflies, and staring at the clouds in the sky, searching for shapes they make.”

And what influences have shaped your way of working?

“My diverse background has a deep impact on my design philosophy. Being a family with Eastern European roots and background, we were never frivolous. Growing up in Canada, where it was blisteringly cold, you dress for survival most of the year, not necessarily for pleasure. In Australia, where I spent my last 20 years, I was predominately in Queensland, where it is hot and humid. There, putting on clothes gave me anxiety most mornings, as I started to overheat as soon as I got out of the shower. Now, I design for myself, which means I dress and design for longevity. My history and living situations have given me a unique perspective, and I believe this fusion of backgrounds has contributed to the brand’s distinct aesthetic.”

Katie Kolodinski

“Since I was little, I have avoided waste and embraced a responsible lifestyle, which has profoundly impacted the brand’s commitment to sustainability. The love I developed for slip dresses during my teenage years in the ’90s inspired our iconic 90s Slip Dress.”

A responsible lifestyle still guides everything you do today. 

“Indeed. My passion for conscious living, travel, and advocacy work has always guided the brand’s mission: to use fashion as a storytelling platform and a tool for positive change. Our drive for sustainability significantly impacts how we work as a brand, from the factories where we produce our clothing to the materials we select to use. Regarding our designs, I always ask myself, “Would I wear this when I am 60? Would I wear this when I am 80? Would anyone want this when I am no longer here?” These questions largely guide my decision-making process. Polyester is also one of my biggest no’s–both in life and work. Polyester is nothing but plastic, and it takes high volumes of energy and water to produce, which leads to pollution. It’s generally unable to be recycled and ends up in cheap clothing and, therefore, landfills. So, fabrics like polyester and other similar synthetics, I find, are best avoided at large.”

Katie Kolodinski

What are you most proud of? 

“So far, I am proud of the groundwork I have done working with wildlife in South Africa. I am proud of the land regeneration project and charity, Project 166, that my husband and I started together. And I am proud that every day I wake up, keep going, and don’t quit.”

Is there a moment in your career that you will never forget? 

“I won’t forget where I came from and how hard I worked to get where I am. I won’t forget picking up my stock from the airport’s cargo area as it was cheaper than getting it delivered to my home. I won’t forget to drive to local customers’ homes to deliver packages to save $10 in shipping fees. I won’t forget getting fired from a steakhouse for not being able to open a wine bottle properly.”

Could you walk us through your creative process? How do you generate ideas and bring them to life, from conceptualization to execution?

“My ideas are deeply rooted in a passion for conscious living, sustainability, and storytelling. I view fashion as a canvas for expressing important messages and advocating for causes close to my heart. I typically find inspiration in all walks of life, whether this is a place I’ve traveled to or a book I have read.”

“Through Silk Laundry, I’m creating pieces that make individuals feel good, spark conversations, and inspire positive change. I want my garments to transcend trends, so I constantly think about garments missing in my wardrobe and determine if they are something other people would also gravitate towards. This typically translates to classic silhouettes that can be worn on rotation and complement an already established wardrobe.”

And why did you choose to work with silk? 

“Silk is often misunderstood as complicated and delicate. However, it’s extremely durable and strong. One of my favorite little facts about silk is that it was used in parachutes for its incredible strength-to-rate ratio, tear resistance, and elasticity until around 1943. The fabric was repurposed and used in bespoke wedding dresses at the end of a parachute cycle. The circularity, longevity, and softness of silk drew me to the material in the first place. It is luxurious and comfortable for the wearer but has minimal impact on the planet as it is a natural fiber. This means that it has a circular lifestyle, making it biodegradable. It is a carbon-neutral material, meaning it can be used without depleting resources or damaging the environment.”

What’s the idea behind creating accessible and essential luxury? 

“We are dedicated to giving back to our wider community, whether making customers feel good when they come into one of our stores or facilitating collaborations with local not-for-profits that give back to our circles. We make clothing, but we also prioritize being engaged in society through altruism with projects like Flowers for Ukraine and Project 166, a project sparked to regenerate destroyed land.” 

“We are always looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the planet, and over the years, we have been able to make change and do better within Silk Laundry. We have replaced all garment poly bags with home compostable bags, and we encourage all our customers to write letters to their local governments to encourage composting in their communities; our hangers for our stockrooms, design spaces, and wholesale are recyclable cardboard hangers. We use recyclable cardboard packaging for our e-commerce orders, and our garment tags feature phrasing that reflects our ethos and encourages ways to preserve the longevity of your garment. Silk Laundry primarily uses responsibly sourced silk. We also design with hemp, yak, wool, organic cotton, and linen fabrics to soften our environmental impact.”

What’s your favorite piece of Silk Laundry?

“Classics like our Uniform Collection form staples that I constantly seek in my wardrobe. However, my favorite collection to date would have to be our latest Nature’s Laboratory collection. My trip to the Amazon inspired me. It is a collection designed to spark conversations about biodiversity and those who protect our world. I’m not sure I can choose a favorite piece, but the ‘Hot Lips’ print, which the Psychotria Elata plant-inspired, catalyzed the collection, so I love the garments with that print.”

Who or what is currently on your mood board? 

 “Tiny dried flowers, paint chips from old buildings in Mexico, and skate parks in France.”

What excites you most about the future? 

“I’m excited to see fashion become more creative, pragmatic, and engaged with our world and those around us. We all have a place to play regarding our planet and taking care of it. So, giving back to the people in our world will continue to drive my ethos and Silk Laundry as a brand.”

@katiekolodinski | @silklaundry |