WORK WIFE

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MEET THE DESIGNER: BINU BINU

Charcoal soaps and Korean spas might be having a moment, but they’re nothing new to Karen Kim, who was introduced to the ritual of a circulation-inducing scrub by her grandmother during her childhood in Toronto. As an adult working for the chic clothing shop La Garçonne in New York, Karen didn’t immediately make the connection between the cleansing rituals of her culture and her career. But after a trip to Korea with her mom and aunts—much of which was spent soaking at the local baths—Karen s... READ MORE

Charcoal soaps and Korean spas might be having a moment, but they’re nothing new to Karen Kim, who was introduced to the ritual of a circulation-inducing scrub by her grandmother during her childhood in Toronto. As an adult working for the chic clothing shop La Garçonne in New York, Karen didn’t immediately make the connection between the cleansing rituals of her culture and her career. But after a trip to Korea with her mom and aunts—much of which was spent soaking at the local baths—Karen started experimenting with making her own soaps using boricha, or roasted barley tea, and other plant-based ingredients like hibiscus petals and rice milk. In 2015, she started selling her creations under the name Binu Binu (binu means “soap” in Korean), and in the years since, she’s developed a lip conditioner, a cleansing balm, and, yes, a scrub cloth meant to facilitate seshin, that style of vigorous exfoliation her grandmother introduced her to all those years ago.

binu-binu.com

DESIGNER'S WORK

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