Liz Spencer is the dogwood dyer. She aids in creating high quality accessories & garments from ethically sourced fibers & dyestuffs. In the country & along roadsides surrounding New York City and Los Angeles 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 organic natural dye gardens nestled between the rows of her family's heritage orange grove in Riverside, CA. To reduce the impact of the water intensive dyeing process, most of the dye water is recycled back into her orange grove & gardens.
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, the UK, Massachusetts, Oregon & Washington states she splits her time between southern California and New York City teaching with the ambition to increase sustainable literacy & practices in the fashion and textiles industries.
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 the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a venture fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA) for a year and a half.
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.