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Claudy Jongstra launches LOADS Collection at L’SPACE Gallery in NYC

Claudy Jongstra launches LOADS Collection during New York Textile Month. Image courtesy of Claudy Jongstra

LOADS program at Claudy Jongstra Studio. Courtesy of Claudy Jongstra

LOADS logo, designed by Irma Boom

Claudy Jongstra. Portrait by Christian Jaeggi, 2020

Thu, Sep 7 - Wed, Sep 13  2023

New York

Claudy Jongstra launches LOADS Collection at L'SPACE Gallery during New York Textile Month in September 2023.

With more than 20 years of award-winning work dedicated to the restorative ecology and timeless beauty of wool, artist-activist Claudy Jongstra is returning to the fashion world with a radical, net-positive approach to garment creation—LOADS Collection. On view at L’SPACE Gallery (524 West 19th Street) during New York Textile Month from September 7-13, 2023. Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 7 pm, Sunday – Monday by appointment.

Claudy Jongstra, internationally renowned for her captivating, large-scale textile artworks, began her career in fashion. Concerned about the impacts of an industry she had come to see as harmful to the planet, she began to channel her creative energies into developing a practice of working with textiles that honored the whole life cycle of the material—in particular, wool. Jongstra’s early wool works inspired successful collaborations with John Galliano, Hermès, and Christian Lacroix, and appeared in the iconic Star Wars franchise as the iconic long-coats of the Jedi warriors.

In this moment, Jongstra’s insight and artistry brings a fresh perspective to the industry. More than a collection of garments, LOADS Collection is a collaboration among outstanding makers, any one of whose work on its own could be considered transformative. Bringing this work together, LOADS Collection forms a new, truly revolutionary system that values craftsmanship and supports the cultivation of high- quality, ecological materials with revitalizing impacts on the very landscape that produces them.

Each LOADS Collection garment is composed of the highest quality biodynamic, natural fibres — Drenthe Heath wool from Claudy Jongstra’s own herd of indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep, Spanish Merino heritage wool raised by Maria Pia Sanchez on her family’s ranch Dehesa de la Rinconada, and Demeter-certified Egyptian cotton grown by Egyptian sustainable development initiative SEKEM.

Relying solely on plant-based dyes, each color in the collection can be traced back to its botanical source on small-scale, biodynamic farms in the Netherlands and Spain. Harvested by hand and artfully distilled into baths of clean, brilliant colour, these plants are then returned to the earth as nutrient-rich compost.

LOADS Collection comes directly out of the collaborative, ecological and traceable way of working that Claudy Jongstra has carefully cultivated in her artistic practice. Her atelier and biodynamic farm in the northern countryside of the Netherlands, developed together with her partner Claudia Busson, has grown into a creative hub for a diverse range of creatives, including artists, artisans, farmers, scientists, students, designers, architects, researchers, historians, curators and chefs. LOADS is the most recent expansion of the atelier dedicated to education, skill-building and collaboration. LOADS Collection is the first project emerging from this new space, bringing together the extraordinary work of collaborating makers, architects, farmers, designers, manufacturers and social enterprises.

About Claudy Jongstra

Claudy Jongstra, internationally renowned for her captivating, large-scale textile artworks, began her career in fashion. Concerned about the impacts of an industry she had come to see as harmful to the planet, she began to channel her creative energies into developing a practice of working with textiles that honored the whole life cycle of the material—in particular, wool. Jongstra’s early wool works inspired successful collaborations with John Galliano, Hermès, and Christian Lacroix, and appeared in the iconic Star Wars franchise as the iconic long-coats of the Jedi warriors.

DutchCulture USA

CLAUDY JONGSTRA COLLABORATORS

Ecological Ranch – Spanish Merino Wool
Maria Pia Sanchez, Dehesa de la Rinconada, Spain
Maria Pia Sanchez carries on her family’s generational dedication to land conservation and the preservation of endangered Spanish Merino heritage sheep on her ranch, Dehesa de la Rinconada. There, her transhumant and ecological flock graze along historic
seasonal migration paths forged by this breed over centuries across the countryside of Seville. The sheep’s beautiful, resilient and net-positive wool is a testament to the value of raising ecological wool.

Biodynamic Farm – Biodynamic Cotton
SEKEM, Egypt
SEKEM is a sustainable development initiative established by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977 and continued today by his son. The biodynamic cotton grown by the Demeter-certified SEKEM farms caused a revolution in the cotton world, proving that high quality cotton can be grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This led to a 1993 constitutional amendment reducing pesticide use on Egyptian cotton fields by almost 90%. With more than 2,000 employees and 2,500 hectares of fertile, biodynamic agricultural land across Egypt, SEKEM prioritizes soil health, biodiversity, and social, economic and ecological justice for people, land and animals.

Biodynamic Farm – Plant-based Dyes
Angel Amurrio and Raquel Guembe, Entheos, Spain
On the Entheos biodynamic farm in the Navarra region of Spain, pastors (shepherds) Angel Amurrio and Raquel Guembe are woking to restore soil fertility and increase biodiversity by championing biodynamic agricultural practices. For the LOADS collection,
Amurrio and Guembe cultivated Demeter-certified seeds for three flowering dye plants that thrive in dry soil: Reseda Luteola (weld), Coreopsis, and Helianthus Annuus (sunflower). The colours these flowers produce—hand picked for the collection—
reflect the beauty of the agricultural and educational work and mission at Entheos.

Biodynamic Farm – Plant-based Dyes
De Beersche Hoeve, Oostelbeers, The Netherlands
Woad (Isatis tinctoria) was once cultivated across Northern Europe as the raw material for vibrant deep blue dyes and paints. In a collaboration with Odin biodynamic farm De Beersche Hoeve, Studio Claudy Jongstra is reintroducing this historic dye plant on an agricultural scale for the first time in 100 years.

 

Oeko-Tex Certified Mill – Spinning
Wooldreamers, Mota del Cuervo, Spain
Wooldreamers is a small-scale, family-owned and Oeko-tex certified textile mill specializing in Spanish heritage wools. Inspired to increase the value of local, ecologically raised wool, Wooldreamers sources natural fibers cultivated with compassion for the animals and land, building relationships with ranchers and sharing their vision for the future. Each yarn spun in the Wooldreamers Oeko-tex certified mill is traceable to a local flock of native Spanish sheep.

Biodynamic Farm and Community – Spinning
Urtica de Vijfsprong, Vorden, The Netherlands
Urtica de Vijfsprong is a biodynamic farm and social enterprise working to support people with mental and physical disabilities by providing community, housing, and opportunities to participate in rewarding and meaningful work, from agriculture to craftsmanship.

Small-Scale Atelier – Knitting
STRIKKS, Maastricht, The Netherlands
STRIKKS is a young design studio and lab for innovative knitted textiles. Each piece is custom-knit by Maartje Boer on small-scale machines.

Ceramic Art Centre – Waste Clay Buttons
Cor Unum, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Cor Unum is a ceramic art centre founded by Lotte Landsheer. Producing ceramics designed by leading international designers, architects and visual artists, Cor Unum has a social mission at it’s core. Each project is brought to life with a team of professionals, students, volunteers, and people at a distance from or disadvantage in the labour market.

Step Certified Oeko-Tex Mill – Labels
EE Labels, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
EE Labels is a 4th generation family-run jaquard weaving mill specializing in woven labels made from organic cotton and recycled PET yarns. The first company to obtain the STeP-certificate by Oekotex, EE Labels sets an example for circular production,
from using green electricity and wind energy to investing in the wellbeing of their employees for generations.

Collaborative Creative Agency – Sewing
Makers Unite, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Makers Unite is a textile-based creative agency supporting the creative talent of newcomers to the Netherlands. The Makers Unite Creative Lab offers training programs designed to support newcomers with access to the job market by building skills for the
collaborative design and production of high, quality, sustainable textile products. Through this inclusive and collaborative approach, Makers Unite aims to tell a story and take a step forward to shift the global narrative about migration.