On her defining trip to the Amazon, Founder and Creative Director Katie Kolodinski was immersed in incredible biodiversity and breathtaking nature. Despite their scarcity, Katie was able to observe a beautiful Psychotria Elata plant.  Also known as the ‘Hot Lips’ plant, this piece of flora was the catalyst for the Nature’s Laboratory collection. Intended to spark conversations about the world around us and those who protect it, Silk Laundry is excited to launch its Hot Lips Tee–a vibrant collaboration with not-for-profit The Social Studio (TSS). 

Cool and considered in its design, the Hot Lips Tee simultaneously supports TSS’s work with refugee and new migrant creatives across fashion design and the arts. Through facilitating credited, effective education and employment opportunities in fashion and design they support new migrant and refugee youth in forging their future. With a rate of 89% graduating from their accredited TAFE programs, many have gone on to pursue further study or found work in the industry both internally and externally. 

The 100% organic cotton jersey is manufactured locally in TSS’s Melbourne space in Collingwood Yards and abides by Ethical Clothing Australia standards. 

There are only 100 iconic tees in this collaboration which supports emerging Indigenous designers. Upholding the same values, this partnership simultaneously promotes ethically made fashion that prioritises the planet. TSS supports local makers, while also encouraging environmentally conscious practices like repurposing and upcycling preloved materials.  

To gauge a better insight into the collaboration, we thought we’d let the migrant and refugee women who crafted the Hot Lips Tees share their feelings on working for TSS with Silk Laundry.

Cynthia, USA 
Production Supervisor 

“I’m proud to be a part of this collaboration and hope to convey the importance of honouring handcraft in our everyday lives.”

Cinzia, Italy

“I love that there is still space for manufacturing here in Melbourne. Through a collaboration like this, I'm able to continue to work for a company like TSS which I love so much. 

I’m really proud to say that I was a part of making these T-shirts and am excited to know they will be enjoyed by someone who appreciates the craftsmanship that went into them.”

Nyamal, South Sudan 
Student at TSS

“The care and guidance at TSS have helped me feel confident in my creativity. If your environment foundation is based on love and nurturing your creation will convey that, which I’ve learnt and felt here.”

Ani, Indonesia

“TSS is so inspiring! I am proud to be a part of it and it’s rewarding to know I'm helping the community in a  small way. 

It feels wonderful to be a part of the exclusive collection and part of a collection that celebrates inclusivity, a collective effort to create a better life for all and the world.”

Irem, Turkey 
Production Assistant and Dressmaker

“I’m very happy being a part of TSS and this collaboration. Making new things for good purposes and knowing the background of a project is very important for me.” 

The Silk Laundry X Social Studio Hot Lips Tee is considered, bold and contemporary. Serving as an elevated essential in any wardrobe, shop now with limited quantities available exclusively in-store.