Sustainable Fashion with Selina Ho | EP 108



Welcome back to another fabulous fashion episode covering one of our most important topics – and one we hope everyone is becoming more and more aware of every day –  Sustainable Fashion!

This week we are SO honored to have Selina Ho, the Founder & CEO of Recloseted, gracing us with her AMAZEBALLS presence on the podcast! She is our new *BFFF, and she will be yours, too!

*Best Fashion Friend Forever

Selina is a BADASS  SUSTAINABLE ROCKSTAR who started a consulting company to help brands transform the harmful practices of the fashion industry. She has gathered a team of all-stars — from sourcing experts to material scientists – and leveraged her own business experience working at startups and Fortune 500s to help “slow fashion” clients get on the path to fashion sustainability. 

Recloseted is the first one-stop consulting agency for sustainable fashion brands.

They launch and scale sustainable brands and help existing apparel brands become more environmentally friendly.

Selina knew she wanted to start doing her part in changing the world after breaking out in a vicious rash while wearing a polyester shirt (poly is made of OIL, eeew) and doing some research which led her to some devastating truths behind the production of garments. 

Her company is on a mission to transform the harmful production practices of the fashion industry. It’s a lofty goal but they hope to accomplish this by launching and scaling sustainable fashion brands in addition to making existing brands more conscious. She and her team may be small, but the mighty Recloseted team is now a force to be reckoned with!

The Recloseted motto: Together, let’s transform the harmful fashion industry.

If that wasn’t enough, Selina is also the host of the Recloseted Radio podcast, and the self-published author of “The Recloseted Handbook: Your Sustainable Fashion Guide“, a 200-page e-book detailing exactly how to become a stylish yet conscious clothing consumer. #lovingthisjourney

What can the normal person do to start being conscious about sustainable fashion?

  1. Do your best, and fill your own cup first. When you give to yourself (Moms!), you have more to give to your kids, your family, and your job.  Do not feel guilty if you cannot be the perfect person to others – or to our planet – every minute of the day. Because, sorry Boo, you cannot.
  2. Try to figure out what ‘sustainability’ means to you. How can you incorporate thoughtful environmental practices into YOUR life? Not your nosy neighbor’s life. Not the fake person on Instagram’s life. Not your BFF’s life. YOUR life.
  3. Want to take a deep dive into the story of the fashion industry’s harmful impact on our planet? Go watch The True Cost – a documentary.  It’s tough love, but if you are interested, check it out. (Holly and the Podcast team are too chicken to watch, but they’re gonna do it anyway.)
  4. Be imperfectly perfect. The issue of fashion sustainability, as well as all environmental causes, can be overwhelming. But with small baby steps, we can at least work toward being more intentional. 

FACT CHECK: Holly reminds us here that we need to have a Style Plan. You don’t go to the grocery store and just pick one of everything, do you? Um, no. You have a meal plan for the week, and you only buy what you need. 

Only. Buy. What. You. Need. 

In addition to what you buy, pay attention to where you buy. Shop local and shop small. Vote with your wallet. The big box stores do not need your money (uhm, think Jeff Bezos. Just no!) Entrepreneurs and small businesses do. They really, really do. 

(Hot Tip: If you find a creator or designer online that you love, be sure to purchase their items directly from their own website versus 3rd party sites like Etsy.)

What does “Fashion Sustainability” really mean?

For Selina, it means “balance.” How do you balance your lifestyle while still taking care of the planet?  Find a way to live with more intention. The choices you make every day, big or small, can add up to make a difference. 

There are many fun and easy fashion sustainable efforts you can try:

  • Host a clothing swap with friends where you drink wine and trade clothes and accessories. Super fun!!!
  • Go thrifting with your girlfriends one weekend. Even more fun!
  • Invite friends over to help you clean out and organize your closet! Fun, with champagne!
  • Don’t indulge in retail therapy, aimlessly buying things you don’t need to make yourself feel better. You will not feel better. 
  • Start with just one item. Decide you are going to buy one pair of shoes from a sustainable brand next time. It’s literally that easy.

What does “Greenwashing” mean? Don’t be fooled by appearances. 

As you start looking for sustainable brands, be aware of something called ‘greenwashing‘. Many brands promote themselves as being earth-friendly, but in fact, they may only have one product that fits that description in order to market themselves as a ‘sustainable’ brand. #dontfallforit

Think of the grocery store again: many items say they are organic or gluten-free…. But are they???  Brands marketed with social or health benefits sell better, so, just make sure who you buy from is legit.

“When companies invest more time and money on marketing their products or brand as “green” rather than actually doing the hard work to ensure that it is sustainable — this is called greenwashing.”

How does a company like Recloseted help fashion companies become better at being sustainable?

Selina’s group offers various consulting packages for new brands – giving all the fashion and business information they need to be a sustainable company. They tell brands to put their clients first and be strategic and intentional with their products.For instance, instead of buying another sweater. Be intentional and buy from a smaller brand that’s more versatile: maybe it can still be worn despite your size changes, or maybe the fabric is transitional for more than one season. 

Recloseted shares viable production mills and fabric sources, helping brands use fair labor and best practices suppliers all over the world.

And what is sustainable junk? Is that like space junk? 

Well, yes. It is. Brands should not make or sell products that check off all the sustainability boxes if there is no market for the item. This is where brands need to put their customers first: are you producing items that people really want or need? 

So, even if it is totally green, if no one wants it, they’ve just made junk. Brands need to instead solve “pain points” or the areas where customers are frustrated and need a solution.

Cleaning and care of your wardrobe.

When do we know when it’s time to let something go? Selina and Holly are of one fashion brain on this one:

If you keep your closet clean and organized, you will always know what you have. Routine clean-outs keep the chaos away!

Do your clothes still fit? Do you still love your items? Maybe you could swap with your friends. Just make sure to give your clothing as much life as you can before you finally decide on discarding. 

What are some of Selina’s favorite sustainable brands? 

Shop Firebird

Adeera

Styelle Swim

Also, don’t forget about accessories and jewelry! Look for designers who use recycled gold and lab-grown diamonds, like our BFF of the podcast www.AmandaPearl.com!

OK, so AFTER you listen to this episode, please engage with her on social and learn how to have a more sustainable wardrobe. It starts with just one item. It’s that simple.

Start by taking baby steps, but let’s get on the sustainable train together!!!

Xoxo,

Holly, Your Favorite Personal Stylist!

Listen now!

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