Have you ever thought about starting your own slow fashion brand? But you were concerned that the market is too saturated or you don’t have enough funding or design expertise or a formal degree to make it happen? Maybe you just don’t even know where to start? Or perhaps you’re just curious about what it takes to start a slow fashion brand.
Well, then this episode with Selina Ho, the founder and CEO of sustainable fashion consultancy Recloseted is for you!
Links From This Episode:
Conscious Fashion Collective Job Board
This Episode Was Brought To You By:
Green Eco Dream, a sustainably-minded marketplace with eco-conscious alternatives for your health, home, beauty, and on-the-go needs.
Check out Green Eco Dream’s collection of low waste, low impact laundry essentials to help make your loved clothes last!
Listen to This Episode:
Tune in to this episode of the Conscious Style Podcast below, or on your favorite podcast app
Read the Transcript From This Interview:
Hey there and welcome or welcome back to the show! In today’s episode, we’re bringing back a previous guest of the show, Selina Ho, the founder and CEO of Recloseted, a one-stop consultancy for sustainable fashion.
In episode 42, Selina shared tips for how existing fashion brands could transition to more sustainable practices. In this episode, Selina is going to share her tips for launching a new slow fashion brand from the ground up.
And yes, even if you don’t have a ton of resources or funding or a formal degree in fashion, Selina is sharing how you can actually get a brand started.
And even if you’re not an aspiring slow fashion entrepreneur, I think that this episode will still be really interesting for you. I know that I found it fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to launch a slow fashion brand — and some of the areas where that differs from a fast fashion brand.
That said, if you do know someone who is interested in launching a slow fashion brand or is in the process of launching one, please send this episode their way! Selina is sharing really valuable insights that might just save them time, money, and a few headaches.
Okay, now let’s get onto today’s show!
Thank you so much for coming on the show, Selina. I’m excited to chat with you and have you on the show for round two on the Conscious Style Podcast.
Yeah. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for having me. I’m so excited to be back and really excited to share more knowledge with your community.
Yeah, absolutely. So, in part one, I guess, so the first time you were on the show, we started with your background, and you know why you started Recloseted.
But for this conversation, I thought we could start off with just giving a little bit more context to what we’re going to be talking about today, which is how to launch a conscious fashion brand.
So, with the increasing interest in sustainable fashion, it seems like there are new brands popping up all the time, in addition to existing brands implementing more sustainable practices. Do you think that we really need more conscious fashion brands? And why do you have that answer?
Yeah, I love that question. And I think it’s a question a lot of people have when they want to start a sustainable fashion brand, because there’s already so many brands out there to your point. And more and more greenwashing going on, so what is the best way to tackle solving this harmful fashion industry, right?
And I always go back to the fact that we were closed every single day, and people like touched these fabrics, they feel dumb, and it’s just inevitable, it’s a part of our lifestyle. That being said, though, things do need to change. And that’s where genuinely conscious brands come into play.
And I think a lot of times, now, people are just starting businesses to start businesses. But if you’re truly intentional, and you think carefully about the types of products you’re releasing, and the problem you’re solving with it, that’s where there’s really opportunity. Like long gone are the times where you just make products for the sake of making products.
So long story short, I do think there’s still room for genuinely intentional brands, if they are really strategic about it. And they’re smart about it, and they’re actually wanting to solve a pain point. And so that’s where the opportunity is.
And I really don’t think there’s room for fast fashion brands that are just trying to capture trends or just trying to make revenue for the sake of it. That’s just not what we need anymore.
Right? Absolutely. Yeah, I think that a common hesitation for someone who might want to create a slow fashion brand, or honestly, just any sort of sustainable business might be that, okay, there’s already so many and the market is too saturated.
And so what would you say to that if people have fears that the market is too saturated? You know, what can they do?
Yeah, so the first thing I want to point out is that every industry at this point is “saturated”, there’s competitors in every single space. So instead of letting that bog you down, or making that feel like you can’t do your own thing, I think you should look at it as an inspirational piece instead.
And so really think about your ideal customer and what they need. I talked about this a little bit already. But what are pain points you can solve, what are problems you can really solve for them and stand out in that regard, and really differentiate yourself that way.
Because people can really tell when you’re speaking directly to them, and you genuinely care about them. And that’s really how you can stand out from your competitors as well.
And I touched on this a little bit already, too, but you want to create products that people actually use. Because even if you created the most sustainable sweater in the world with the best materials at the best factory, at the end of the day, if people aren’t using that sweater and it’s just going to landfill, you’ve just made sustainable junk, right?
Like it couldn’t be the most sustainable sweater ever, but it’s just sustainable junk at the end of the day. So set yourself up for success and set yourself apart from your competitors. You need to be really strategic about what you’re producing and how you’re going about it. And I really think that will help you stand out.
Yeah, that’s great advice. And I think another barrier for people that maybe want to launch a sustainable fashion brand is that they don’t have a formal education or they don’t have a fashion degree. They didn’t go to school for it. They don’t have, you know, a fashion design education.
Can someone who doesn’t have this formal education or degree still start a fashion brand?
Absolutely. I would say don’t let that hold you back. A lot of our clients don’t have a fashion or even a business background and they’re still really successful. But the key though, is you need to have a willingness to learn and you need to be curious. That’s really important.
And then the next part is of course, like finding and hiring experts to help you. So if you don’t have a fashion design background, you’re obviously not going to be designing your first collection. That just does not make sense. So find someone amazing, hire them, trust them. And that’s how you’re going to go about it.
But my biggest piece of advice is just have that willingness to learn and soak up everything like a sponge, ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask questions. And yeah, I really do think though, you should not let a lack of experience or background hold you back from starting. Because everyone started exactly where you are now. Like every single entrepreneur or person you look up to started from zero. So you just need to put in the work and understand that you can get there as well.
Yeah, and that sort of reminds me of something that I have to continually tell myself, it’s okay to be a beginner, it’s okay to be bad at something when you’re starting. Because I feel like sometimes that might hold us back in any sort of entrepreneurial venture and just in life, you know, just being nervous to start something.
Because, yeah, you’re probably going to be bad at it at first, or like, at least not know, much. But like, how will you ever know more about that topic, or get good at something if you don’t start?
And so just coming at it with, I guess, a bit of humility that everybody starts as a beginner. And yeah, just being open to learning. So I love that.
And you mentioned, bringing on other people onto your team if you don’t have that expertise. So if somebody wanted to find a designer, how would they go about that?
Yeah, great question. But before we get there, maybe just touching on your previous point, I often say too, like if your final product be it your first social media post, or your first collection, if it’s perfect, that probably means you waited too long to start.
And I’m not saying that you should be launching with all these mistakes and mishaps. But if you wait too long sometimes and you hold yourself back until you’re 100% ready, usually too much time has passed by.
So just like you said, there’s going to be things that happen, you can’t prevent them. That’s okay, things will not be perfect. And that’s okay, you just have to start. And then you can learn as you go. And that’s what a lot of people do.
Yeah, I love that. And something else sort of related to that, that I’ve heard is like, if you look back, and you’re not embarrassed by what you first put out, you haven’t grown.
And that was also very encouraging for me, because I like will look back at old blog posts that I wrote five years ago, and really like, Oh, my God, I’m cringing so much. But that just means that you’ve grown and you’ve learned and that’s good, it’s a sign of growth. So…
Totally, yeah. And then in regards to finding a designer, this is really important. So for our clients, we warm intro them but for your listeners, they’re really going to have to do their due diligence, because you want to make sure you find and hire the best people for you, because they’re literally making your products that your customers are going to be wearing.
So the first thing is really just to cast a wide net. And I would just gather a list of people that you can work with. And we always tell folks to start with the pattern maker, because the pattern maker is usually the first step and conceptualizing your designs.
And for people that don’t know what pattern making is, essentially, if you have a sketch of a shirt you want, for example, the pattern maker will help you conceptualize it. So they’ll turn that 3D product into a 2D pattern with usually paper. And so there’s going to be like little paper pieces, and then they’re going to show you how it can come together to make your shirt. And so that’s usually the first process.
And if you concentrate on finding the pattern maker first, they typically have people they work with for grading, which is changing your sizes or making your size range, they have people to make your final tech pack. And so I generally recommend starting with a pattern maker and then going from there. Especially if you find a great one, they’ll also likely be working with great people, right? So start with the pattern maker.
And in terms of actually being able to find people and casting a wide net. Literally, just be very resourceful. So use Google, use Facebook groups, ask for referrals. Just ask around and don’t be shy about this. And then once you have that list, you then want to narrow it down and you want to vet people.
So think of it literally as an interview. Ask questions about what they specialize in, ask for portfolios, ask for samples of work, ask for references, and of course price points, what their process is, lead times, all that stuff.
And the other things throughout this whole process too is to really trust your gut. Because if someone doesn’t feel like they’d be a great fit for your brand or something feels fishy, don’t ignore that because chances are there’s a reason why you feel that way.
And I know sometimes it can be hard to listen to your gut because it’s not really a science. It’s an art form, but really when it comes to finding designers and people you want to work with and especially with manufacturing, that’s really, really important.
Yeah, so I can’t stress this enough to your audience, really do your due diligence and spend the time and the effort required to find someone perfect for your brand.
Yeah, and I just want to quickly share a resource actually. So for anybody who is like looking to hire in the conscious fashion space, over on Conscious Fashion Collective, we actually have a job board.
So these are like job openings: this is like freelance, contract, full-time, or internships. So I will put that in the episode description, the email that you can reach out to with your job opening, and we’d be more than happy to post that up on our job board over at consciousfashion.co. So that is a resource for anyone who wants to launch a brand.
But going back to some of the other barriers that someone might face in trying to launch a brand, I think that two of the biggest challenges that are probably unique to sustainable fashion brands are sourcing eco-conscious materials, and secondly, trying to find ethical manufacturers.
What are your tips for those challenges?
Yeah, this is huge. And it’s really similar to my tips with finding a designer. But again, like we warm intro our clients. And if you’re not in that situation, you have to do your due diligence, this is so important.
And so same thing like cast a wide net. So Google, Facebook groups, referrals, and sourcing sites are really huge, too. So you just mentioned your job board. Amazing. That’s a great place to be.
But there’s also sites like I don’t know how to pronounce this, I think it’s Chanodil but I can send you the link as well and Elizabeth can put it in the show notes. But it’s essentially like a job board and it’s really just for males and for manufacturers.
So brands can go on there and say, hey, I want to create a shirt made out of silk, I’m looking for silk fabric, please let me know if this is you type of thing. And then they’ll literally pitch. And that’s really helpful because you can then have inbound and you can look through everything.
The one tip with the sourcing sites, though, is to try to be as specific as possible. So if you know exactly what you’re looking for, you know what types of minimums you’re able to hit. And you know, colors like just list all of that out so that people can self-select and then apply. And with that, as well, once you have the list of mills and manufacturers you might want to work with, you then of course want to go through a really rigorous vetting process.
So I’m actually going to do a YouTube video on our YouTube channel. And I think it’s gonna be like 20 to 30 minutes long, so I won’t share everything, because that’s gonna be really gnarly for your listeners. But the cliffnotes edition is really asking them, you know, what do they specialize in? What are samples of work? What are your price points? What are your lead times?
And just don’t be afraid to ask questions. And something I say too is if people get annoyed with the questions you’re asking, or if they think you’re asking too many questions, then that’s again, not a sign, you probably want to work with them, right? Because if they’re getting like that in the sales process, imagine what they’re going to be like when you actually work with them in production.
So really take the time to do this. And I’m sure your listeners have heard similar horror stories to what I have heard around getting scammed or products coming back. And it’s not great. And this is not to scare your listeners, it’s more so just to stress the importance of taking the time to do this.
And don’t be frustrated, if it takes you a few months to find the perfect material. That’s normal, especially if you’re not getting help. And again, don’t be upset if it takes you a few months to find a really good manufacturer as well. It’s really worthwhile to take the time to do this so that your products are set up for success.
Yeah, I love that reminder. And it’s interesting, sort of from an outsider perspective too. Like a slow fashion brand, it makes sense that also you have to be slow and intentional about who you’re sourcing from.
Because when we rush things, we know that a lot of times you have to take shortcuts to get there. And at the end of the day that can come at the expense of the planet, and/or people, so that makes sense.
And in terms of logistics, how many pieces would you recommend a brand starts off with for their launch? And how much would it cost typically, to launch a sustainable fashion brand?
Yeah, there’s a lot of different opinions out there. And this is just what I have seen work best with our clients. So if someone listening doesn’t want to do this, that’s fine. But I’m just going to share what works best for our clients.
So in terms of how many products to release for your first collection, I always recommend one to two products. And the reason behind that is because you really want to make sure you knock this out of the park, right, for your first collection. You really want to make sure you go so well, your customers are so happy with their products, everyone’s raving about it. And so you really want to focus and narrow down on that one to two products.
And I kind of touched on this before already. But we always tell our customers to take a customer-first approach and really nail down the target audience, understand the problem, and then make something with them. So you almost co-create that solution. And that takes time, which is why we always recommend one to two products.
And you can always make more products in the future, but really focus for your first launch and really make sure it’s exceptional. And then once you have funding and your launch is really successful, you can then go and make more products for your future collections.
And the thing too is if you start with one to two products, the beauty is you can likely just get one material. And that of course helps with cost savings.
And so in terms of costs, I feel like this is something people don’t talk a lot about. And I don’t know why people won’t answer this question. I know it varies. I’m totally transparent, and I’m happy to share what we typically tell our clients.
So generally, I would say you want about $30K. And this can be higher, or it can be lower, depending on how many products you’re producing and how complex the pieces are, as well. So there is of course nuance in this, but generally $30K.
And before your listeners freak out, I am going to break this down and I’m also going to explain if you, if you don’t have that kind of money, like how you can get it.
And so in terms of the 30K breakdown, there’s always four categories I run through with our clients.
And then when it comes to your design and your production, this is usually where the bulk of the money goes. So the cost to actually design your pieces, get the material, and produce them. And this will vary depending on how many products you’re making and the complexity, but I generally ballpark around like 15 to 20K.
Then the third category is your marketing costs. So setting up your website, any advertising, you’re doing, any influencer campaigns. And this, again, can vary based on how much you personally want to invest. If you want to launch completely with organic marketing, that’s totally fine. If you have some money for ads and influencers, that’s great, too. But generally, we tell our clients 5 to 10K here.
Then last but not least are your development costs for you, as a founder, I think it’s really important when you’re first starting a business to invest in mentors and lesson programs. And so you can work with us, you can work with someone else, you can get a mindset coach, whatever you think you need. But I generally recommend, you know, another 5 to 10K here as well.
So that all adds up to around 30k. But, again, there’s nuance, there’s variability. But just so people have an idea, right? Like, you’re, you’re probably not going to be able to start a brand for $0. But that being said, you can be smart about how you go about it so that you can make this happen.
Yeah, I appreciate all that information and transparency into the costs. Because I think that, not knowing these things, when you’re going in, you just can’t be as prepared.
And, you know, there’s… there’s that risk of not being able to sustain yourself financially or get into a bad situation early on in your business and not being financially sustainable.
So, with that cost, how would someone with a limited budget and or limited access to funding, you know, or maybe they just don’t want to seek outside funding? How would someone go about raising that money or funding?
Yeah, you bring up a really good point, I always talk about knowing your numbers. And I always want people to know, going into it, how much this is potentially going to cost because you don’t want to get sticker shock. And you don’t want to be in a situation where you — not accidentally, but you just unknowingly — have put all your life savings into this brand. And you’re not sure if it’s going to succeed, right? That’s just such a stressful situation to be in.
So in terms of how to do funding with limited budgets, I always recommend to do self-funding, and then pre-sales. That’s what we tell our clients to do. I really don’t recommend getting angel investment or private equity or even bank loans, just because the time horizons for those types of investments are quite aggressive.
Meaning that if they give you money, yes, it’s great. But they’re probably looking for a return in the next, I don’t know, one to three years and for a slow fashion brand, those timelines can be challenging and that’s just not a great situation you want to be in.
And the other thing too is that when you do have to be a little bit more scrappy, I find that that’s really what builds great entrepreneurs because if you get a lot of money from an angel investor, or even private equity or whatever, it takes a lot of time to do that. But then once you have that money, I find that when problems come up, entrepreneurs just throw money at the problems to solve it instead of actually trying to figure out the root of the problem. So look at this as an opportunity to actually become a better entrepreneur for yourself.
So a couple of things off the top, you know, be really smart about when you have to pay for things, I find that with the 30K, you don’t have to fork it up right up away, right? It’s not like we’re asking for a check for all of that. So be smart about when you have to pay for things. You can stagger it.
Sometimes the things you don’t really have to pay for until you actually launch, such as your ad costs, your marketing costs. Even your lawyer like terms and conditions, you don’t really need that until you actually launch so you can actually plan for it and save up for it. So that can help.
Then you also want to keep things simple with your business as well. Because simplicity really allows you to keep costs low, because once you add complexity, you’re gonna have to manage it, you’re gonna spend time on it. So just keep things simple, really similar to the one to two products I was talking about before. If you had a 10-piece collection, and you were stressed out and just think about all the materials you need to buy, right? So keep it simple.
And then yeah, so with the self-funding and the pre-sales, how we go about it is usually for the self-funding piece, you’re going to leverage your savings, and or some sort of supplemental income.
So if you are comfortable completely, just doing it off your savings, that’s amazing. But just want to make sure that you have boundaries, and you have a rainy day fund for yourself.
And if you’re noticing that that’s still not enough, then supplemental income could be your nine to five job if you’re side hustling, or freelance or contract work, maybe you can get. And so that’s how you can approach the self-funding piece.
And then the other part too is just looking at this, like you’re giving your business a loan. Because we always work with our clients to be able to pay themselves back as soon as possible. Because when they launch we try to help our clients make at minimum $20k. And so in that way, they’re only really just investing in their business for a few months, and then they get that money back.
And then on the other side as well for the four costs that I previously outlined, the business setup costs, you likely have to self-fund. The marketing costs and developments, you likely have to self-fund. But for the design and the production piece, you can really leverage pre-sales for that. And that’s great, because that’s usually the bulk, if not like half of your costs.
So yeah, you can do self-funding for that piece, and then pre-sales for the other piece as well. And then I know this is really long, but for pre-sales, my tips, we have four stages.
So the first stage is to really market and build buzz and build your community. That’s so important. When you launch, you want to make sure there’s not crickets. You’re actually launching to a community of people that want to buy from you.
And then the second phase is the actual launch phase for the pre-sales. And a really big mistake I commonly see people make is that they’ll keep their presale open whenever. And so that’s when you get one-off sales, and it gets really stressful to try and execute and fulfill.
So we always tell our clients to keep their pre-sales open for two to three weeks. Meaning that it’s only during those two to three weeks, customers can actually buy something because I often find that if people think that they can buy something, whenever they’ll just be like, Oh, I’ll do it later. And then they forget about it. So there’s urgency with that.
And then from a fulfillment perspective, what you can do at the end of the two to three weeks is you can then say, Okay, I have 50 orders, and then go to your manufacturer and fulfill. So the third phase is fulfillment.
And then after that, you can go back to building your marketing and your buzz and then launching again. And so don’t feel like you just have to do your pre-sales once you can launch it every other month, if you want or whatever makes the most sense for you.
But yeah, that’s generally how I would recommend being able to break down that 30K. And just know that, like I said, you don’t have to fork it all upfront, don’t have sticker shock! You can be really intentional and strategic about when and how you pay for everything.
Yeah. And there was so much there. I mean, I think that people might like back up and re-listen to that if you want to like take notes. That was really great. And yeah, of course, the transcript is available in the show notes too.
But something I wanted to touch on is your tip on launching with just one to two products. So can you share a little bit more about that?
Because I feel like some listeners might be thinking, only one to two products like I want to launch a whole collection. I have all these ideas. Why would I only put out one to two products?
Yeah, that’s a great point. And I find that people often have that reaction because a lot of people that want to start a brand are creative and they really want to touch and feel their products and stuff. So what I’m saying is that for your first collection, you can do one to two. But if you have an idea for an entire collection, that’s amazing, you can just put it on pause and just delay it for a little bit.
And for your first product, if you can really knock it out of the park and build that trust with your customer, the next time you launch an add-on product, they’re going to be so excited, right?
And even like a brand like Everlane, which is super successful now, they just started with perfecting T-shirts. And once they perfected the t-shirt, they now have like a whole collection of women’s wear and menswear now too, right?
So really don’t look at it as you’re not going to be able to express your creativity or you’re not going to be able to put everything you want out there. I’m just simply telling you to delay it and be strategic about it. Because if you’re in a situation where you do launch with a 10-piece collection out of the gate, I find that the product quality — not all the time — but it’s kind of average for every single product.
And then also you’re so stretched thin financially, because of all the materials, the designs, and the production, you’ve just done that sometimes that’s all you can afford, and then the brand fizzles out. And I don’t want that to happen to you.
It’s actually in your best interest to maybe launch with, like your shirt and a pant or something like that. And then you can add on the jacket, then you can add on something else. And then you can build and really be sustainable financially with your brand.
Mm hmm. And I guess something that I have a problem with, or something that I would struggle with is how do you pick which product?
Should you pick the one that you think is going to sell the best? Should you pick the one that you, you know — do you ask your audience? How do you figure out of your 10 ideas, which one is the one to go with?
Yeah, with this, it really comes back to the customer first approach. So I always tell my clients, and when we work together to go out and get that market research and that data and talk to them. And then you really want to validate it.
So you want to make sure that the product you release is the product that they’re most excited about. The one they’re willing to give you the credit card for and they’re just really jumping up and down and counting down the days until it’s released.
So really, to answer your question, it’s the best seller piece is the piece that really solves a pain point and it’s going to add value. And then that way it can really set your brand up for success. Because if people… it’s almost like creating a cult following around your brand, right? You have this amazing product, you’ve knocked it out of the park.
And now people are really intentional with your brand. They know about it. It puts your brand on the map. And then you have that funding and that visibility to then go out and launch other pieces as well. But yeah, be really, really, really selective with your first couple products and really make sure you know that they’re going to be best selling pieces.
Yeah, yeah. And your point about releasing a product that sort of solves a pain point, I think is really refreshing to hear that because it’s not something we hear a lot about with fashion, right?
It’s a lot of just creating things based on the latest trends, just because that’s what people are wearing on TikTok. Or just creating something simply purely because it aesthetically the designer likes it, which there’s nothing wrong with that — fashion can also be an art form.
But I think that when we’re thinking about fashion for like the everyday person, for the masses, if designers thought more, if brand founders thought more about maybe some of the pain points people have, I think that really resonates.
Like I think about brands that have pieces that are designed for fluctuating sizes, you know, that’s a problem that many people struggle with. With clothing is like having to maybe have three different sizes at any one time because certain pieces only work at certain points in the month or the year or whatever.
And so like that was a pain point, you know. And people I think really can build a deeper connection with brands that feel like they’re really solving a problem.
Yeah. And just building upon your point. If you think about it, for someone to give you money, or if you even think about you personally, the last time you bought something, it’s because you saw value in it. It either solves a pain point or it made your life better. And so it’s that same concept with your brand.
And especially if you want to launch a conscious and sustainable brand and not create sustainable junk, like I was talking about earlier, like people really need to see value in it and use it.
And sometimes when I talk about solving a pain point when it comes to clothes, people can roll their eyes and they can be like oh, it’s just fashion; it’s just clothes — like what are you even talking about?
But if you think about it at a deeper level, a client of ours was really targeting maternity wear and moms-to-be and new moms. And like you mentioned, the sizing fluctuates, right, between your entire pregnancy, nothing fits, you feel bloated, all this stuff. And so they created pants that were adjustable in a way that could grow with the woman as she was giving birth and after as well because your body continues to fluctuate. So that’s just one example.
And I really encourage your listeners to find a target customer, they feel really passionate about helping, because once you have a group of people that you really resonate with, and you really want to help them and support them, I find that this whole process gets easier, right?
Like is it the nine-to-five working gal that just has so many different things she wants to do, but she doesn’t want to have 100 different pieces in your wardrobe, so she needs versatility. Like is that the person you’re going after?
And really approaching it again from that customer-first approach so that you can create pieces that are sustainable products people use and add value to people’s lives.
And, you know, as an entrepreneur, and as a founder that should make you so excited the fact that your products are actually being used and worn, you know?
Yeah, definitely. No, that’s super inspiring. Because yeah, as you were saying, people might roll their eyes, think fashion is frivolous, or whatever. But we all wear clothes and frankly we have all faced challenges, I think either with shopping or wearing or styling clothes. Like we’ve all had frustrations with that. So you know, if a brand can help ease one of those areas, I think that can actually be really, really helpful.
So you mentioned earlier that your Launch Your Brand program, you help your clients startup and make a minimum of $20,000.
So this might feel like an insurmountable goal for any future entrepreneurs just starting out. So can you share a bit about how you go about helping your clients accomplish that, and if you have any tips for people who want to have a successful launch?
Yeah, of course. So the Launch Your Brand program, or LYB is how we work with aspiring slow fashion founders. So like you mentioned, it’s a six month program, we go from idea all the way to successful launch that makes at minimum 20K.
I think it’s really important to have that, you know, that financial goal in place throughout the entire program and be intentional. Because we don’t want you to launch your brand and have it fizzle out. We want to make sure we set up the groundwork so that it is profitable from day one.
So over the past four years, I’ve put all of my tried and true strategies into this program. And I’ve packaged it in a way where it’s not too overwhelming and we’re there with our clients every step of the way.
So we have an online course where I detail all the business setup items, the customer first approach so that they can figure out what the pain point is and what products to develop. We then have fashion design lessons to help them overview that and we also warm intro them to designers, so they don’t have to go through the stress that we just talked about earlier. Then of course, we help them source materials and manufacturers as well. So that’s taken care of.
And then from a branding and a marketing and a launch perspective, we also are setting them up for success there. So we have all of our templates, all of our plug-and-play things and we help them support throughout the entire thing.
So that at the end, after six months, they’re able to launch their pre-sales and make a minimum of $20K.
So our aim with this program is just when you invest to work with us make your life as easy as possible. So we’re going to give you everything you need to launch your brand successfully. And we’ll also support you to execute along the way. So we’ll intro you to the designers to the materials and manufacturers, things like that.
And I really think that that is why you can launch in six months and be successful because we’re literally handing you everything on a silver platter.
And, of course, you can DIY it, but it’s gonna take you, you know, double or triple the time and more effort and more resources in the end. So I really do think that it’s right to work with someone, especially when you’re just starting out.
Yeah, definitely. And especially as we were talking about before, if you don’t have that fashion education, and existing networks and resources, it’s so amazing to have this resource that you can access with Recloseted and still ,sort of, be able to get insights and support and guidance.
I feel like I relied on podcasts and courses so much when starting up my business. And I can imagine it’s even more complicated for starting a brand with physical products and manufacturing. So that definitely makes sense.
So as we round out this conversation, are there any other final tips or strategies that you would like to share with our listeners?
Yeah so for anyone listening, I would always recommend planning at least six to eight months out from your launch and build your community at least that far out. Because it takes time to build a community of people that want to buy from you.
You can’t just decide to put up an Instagram next week, like Instagram post next week and expect you to make like $20K. It doesn’t work like that. You need to be really intentional. So plan the launch out and take at least six to eight months to build up your audience.
And in terms of what to post I find that people often struggle with that. Because if they don’t have their products, yet, they don’t know what pictures to take and stuff. But I always recommend to share the behind the scenes you can share the materials you’re working with, potentially are the manufacturers you’re talking to things like that so people feel invested and your journey. They can see it come to life.
And when there’s that type of investment, and people want to see you succeed by the end, that’s really how you can set your launch up for success. So yeah, final tip is just to plan your launch out and at least take six to eight months to build up your audience.
Hmm. And where can people go to find more resources from Recloseted?
Yeah, so we are in a lot of different places. But the main resource I would love to share with your audience is our free ebook. It’s 30 pages long. It’s basically a summary of what I talked about on this podcast episode, and we have exercises and worksheets for you.
So you can download it at www.recloseted.com/launch and we can send the link to Elizabeth as well. But that ebook that should really help you as well. And we also are now on YouTube, which has been really exciting and also really like so much work.
I think I underestimated how much work YouTube is. But I really think it’s a great platform to kind of deep dive on these types of topics because I’m personally a visual learner. So if you just search for Recloseted Consulting on YouTube, we have a lot of free videos there.
And then of course, we also have our own podcast called the Recloseted Radio. And I am interviewing Elizabeth on there as well. And so make sure you listen to her episode. I’m really excited for it. And I’m sure she’s gonna share amazing nuggets, so you can check out that episode.
And then yeah, last but not least, we’re @Recloseted on all social platforms.
Awesome. Yeah, and all those links will be in the episode description and in the show notes over on this site as well so you can check it out.
And then if listeners want to work with you on launching their conscious fashion label, what does that process look like?
Yeah, so that’s mainly just through our Launch Your Brand program and so if you want more information on LYB, you can find it out at www.recloseted.com/LYB. And we are opening doors at the end of September.
But if you download the ebook at recloseted.com/launch you will actually get on the waitlist and you will be the first to know when doors open. Because we only work with 20 brands per every cohort to really ensure that we can hold their hand and make sure that they are as successful as possible. So folks on their email list will be the first ones to know and the first ones to grab those spots.
Cool. Well, thank you so much for coming onto the show again and sharing so many tips and insights with us really appreciate it.
Of course, Elizabeth, thanks for having me. And I’m really excited for your audience to also listen to your interview on our podcast as well.
Aaaand that’s a wrap for this episode with Selina! Thank you for tuning in today. I know there are so many podcasts out there, so I really appreciate you pressing play on this one.
If you are enjoying the Conscious Style Podcast so far, something that would really help us reach more listeners is giving us a rating and/or review on Apple Podcasts. Or, sharing this show with a friend you think might enjoy it too.
If you want more sustainable fashion resources, sign up for our free weekly newsletter, the Conscious Edit. Each week I send a curation of things like articles, documentaries or events, podcast episodes, brands, campaigns to support, and all that kind of stuff.
You can subscribe at consciouslifeandstyle.com/edit. And subscribers also get a 10-page list of sustainable fashion resources as a welcome gift if you sign up at that link. The link is also gonna be in the episode description so if you scroll in your podcast app, you’ll see it.
Alright, thank you again for being here. I’ll catch you again next Tuesday — or I’ll be in your inbox on Saturday if you’re a subscriber. Bye for now!
About Selina Ho
Selina is the Founder & CEO of Recloseted, the first one-stop consultancy for sustainable fashion. Recloseted launches + scales sustainable fashion brands and helps existing brands become more conscious through their programs and consulting services.
Selina leverages her experience working at startups and Fortune 500s, and now leads an all-star team of consultants, sourcing experts, and material scientists to transform the harmful fashion industry.
Connect with Selina & Recloseted
Recloseted Consulting on YouTube