Liz Spencer is the dogwood dyer. She creates high quality hand made accessories & garments from ethically sourced fibers & dyestuffs. In the country & along roadsides surrounding New York City wild & abundant plants are responsibly collected throughout the year, particularly in the warmer spring & summer seasons, then used to extract natural color for dyeing. Many plants are also grown in her urban Brooklyn streetside planters. No chemicals whatsoever are used in the process.
To reduce the impact of the water intensive dyeing process, 80% of dye water is recycled back into her garden. The dogwood dyer's use of fibers such as alpaca, mohair & cormo wool from local Northeast farms & mills contributes to the flourishing of other sustainable American small businesses.
Liz grew up watching the Carolina dogwoods bloom mid-spring. Now the arrival of the dogwood blossoms each year signifies the beginning of a new foraging season. After time in the South of France, Massachusetts, Oregon & Washington states she has made New York City her home with the ambition to increase sustainable literacy & practices in the fashion industry.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Linfield College & a Master of Arts from the world's leading sustainable fashion graduate program 'Fashion Futures' (formerly know as 'Fashion & the Environment') from the London College of Fashion and now teaches fashion, sustainability, and natural dyeing at Parsons the New School and FIT. She is a venture fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA).
She has years of experience foraging, growing & processing natural dye plants. Liz also has years experience in subsistence & fiber farming sustainably with sheep, alpacas, llamas, goats, pigs & chickens. This work taught her much about the importance of the link between a happy balanced environment, happy animals, happy farmers & resilient local economies.