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Stephanie Benedetto: Discovering Revenue through Excess Inventory

Stephanie Benedetto: Discovering Revenue through Excess Inventory


Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Stephanie Benedetto, CEO of Queen of Raw. Let’s see what she is doing to make a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Stephanie, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Queen of Raw addressing?

Stephanie: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. Are you naked right now? You're not because you're using fabric. It's everywhere. It’s your clothing. The material on your chair. The inside of your car. The carpet under your feet. It's clearly where it's supposed to be, covering things like us. And guess what? It’s also where it’s not supposed to be. Every second of every day one truckload of clothing is wasted and burned in landfills.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Stephanie: My family has been in the business for over 100 years. In 1896, my great-grandfather came over on a ship from Austria and landed at Ellis Island. After settling into the Lower East Side, he had to make a living for his family as an immigrant chasing the American Dream. So he started working with his hands. He would find materials and supplies nearby to create beautiful garments. And he sold these goods to local customers. And it was a very profitable and successful business. Our vision with Queen of Raw is how can we use technology to get back to the way my great-grandfather did business.

Spiffy: Very interesting! What would you say is the impact of your work?

Stephanie: By keeping excess clothing in circulation, we have already saved over 1 billion gallons of water. That's enough clean water for 1.4 million people to drink around the world for three years. I'm doing this for my children. I want them to have clean water to drink, clothes that aren't toxic to wear, and a planet to live on. And I know that together we will change the world.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your org. What impact does that make?

Stephanie: One tee shirt takes an average of 700 gallons of water to produce it. And that’s just one shirt—over 2 billion shirts are sold around the world every year. As per the World Wildlife Fund, if we continue at the current pace of producing clothing, by 2025, two-thirds of the entire world’s population will face shortages of freshwater.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Stephanie: This is my son, Jacob, doing my 60-second pitch. Here’s the link.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Stephanie—it’s been an honor!

Stephanie Benedetto is the CEO of Queen of Raw, an award-winning software helping companies discover revenue through excess inventory. Prior to starting Queen of Raw, Stephanie worked as a lawyer and co-founded a sustainable textile manufacturing facility. An advocate for women in business and sustainability, her companies have been featured in Good Morning America, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Stephanie is a Grand Prize WeWork Creator Awards winner presented by Ashton Kutcher, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Solve Circular Economy Solver, and an Accenture and World Economic Forum Circulars 2022. She is a member of Pledge 1% and a founding member of the New York Circular City Initiative and Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. (Nominated by Max Kahn at SAP.iO. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 18, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.