From high school drop out to sustainable fashion entrepreneur, Boryana Uzunova from Kouture Kapsule shares with us her story.
Kouture Kapsule has been lauded for being game-changing and meaningful fashion movement in Hong Kong. They curate eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, while also ‘rekkapsule-ing’ all of the items you don’t use anymore. Yes, they collect, then recycle or donate your unwanted items. This chic brand was started with a call to action for change in fashion and to reverse the pollutive and damaging environmental effects of the fashion industry.
Fashion-forward, go-getter, it’s Boryana Uzunova from Kouture Kapsule. A Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, Boryana’s journey has been unconventional. Realizing that she wasn’t meant for burying her head in textbooks, she dropped out of high school, uprooted and headed to Japan to pursue technology. From that, she has built 2 start-ups and is busier than ever.
Today, we dive deep into the creative mind of Boryana as we speak to her about her fashion inspirations, her must-haves and maybe even catch a few tips and tricks about styling sustainably.
GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK: If you could only pick 5 pieces of clothing in your wardrobe to wear for a month, what would they be?
BORYANA UZUNOVA: If I could only pick 5 pieces of clothing, they would be
1 THE CLASSIC CAMISOLE
A classic silk camisole in a multifunctional color, say white, beige, navy or black! The “Classic camisole” and the “V-neck camisole” by Grana are my go-to tops that easily match with everything and could be pulled off both for casual and elegant occasions.
2 THE CASUAL-YET-CHIC ANKLE PANTS
A pair of ankle pants, cotton or silk would be good materials, that could look casual if paired with sneakers or flats and bit more chic if paired with high-heels. Most brands offering professional attire would have these. “Everlane” would be a good brand pick.
3 THE VERSATILE MIDI DRESS
A classy, yet feminine cut midi-dress – the right styling would make it an appropriate pick for a date, dinner party, professional meeting. The Reformation has a beautiful selection of such dresses.
4 THE SMART-CASUAL JUMPSUIT
A smart-casual jumpsuit – because everyone needs a slip-on-and-go-on. My favourite is a black linen piece by COS (which isn’t available anymore, but The Reformation carries a similar cut and fabric), which is tight on the top, giving an elegant feminine feel and wide-legged on the bottom, which brings a comfortable, yet flow-y feel.
5 THE SCARF FOR EVERY SEASON
A large scarf in a multi-functional color or pattern. A scarf can help you double your spring outfits as autumn ones as well, whilst adding a layer of flexible chic.
2. What do you guys do with the donated/recycled clothing?
Just 2 months ago, we ran our first Rekkapsule campaign as part of our Eco Pop-up in Hong Kong. We were thrilled by how enthusiastic people were to partake and drop-off clothes. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Redress, who are an established leader in reducing textile waste in the fashion industry. For our upcoming Rekkapsule campaigns in Europe, we would be working directly with recycling, upcycling and social enterprises. Through partnering with recycling facilities, designers to repurpose the gathered textiles and communities in need, we hope to cut more than 90% of the textile waste which is otherwise created and do good in the process of doing so.
3. Who is your biggest style icon?
Whilst I appreciate the creativity behind the ever-changing landscape of hot-couture and it’s endorsers, I’m rather impressed with timeless classics. Most, if not all style-icons resort to it at some point. If I need an outfit inspiration, I look up Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, Karlie Kloss, Amal Clooney amongst many others
4. What’s your favourite style to dress up in?
Effortless chic, of course!
5. What are some eco-styling tips for the conscious fashionistas out there?
I have three rules of thumb.
1) Peripheral luxury goes a long way
Invest in one quality bag, a subtle necklace, a classic watch and all of a sudden the simplest of outfits, such as a silk camisole with a pair of jeans would look glamorous, regardless of any hot-couture trend. If you need something more creative for a special occasion – rent it. You don’t really need to fill in your wardrobe with items you would wear once or would be irrelevant in a few months.
2) Shop in mind with what you have in your closet
It has happened to all of us to see a piece that we love and impulsively bring it to the cashier even though it matches exactly zero of our shoes, bags, tops, bottoms, etc, so we have to shop more to complete the outfit. It’s only human. However, shopping mindfully of what you have already and getting matching pieces could be more powerful than you think. If you have 3 pants and 3 tops that inter-match – that gives you 9 outfits. Bring that to 5 pants and 5 tops – boom, you have 25 outfits.
3) Invest in quality essentials
If your capsule wardrobe is of high quality, you would save a lot both money- and time-wise in the long run. A fantastic jacket that would last you for over 10 years and give you pride every time you wear it, costs as much as 3-4 not so wow jackets from a fast-fashion store that would break in a year and would not bring you that much satisfaction. Same goes for your white t-shirt, jeans, shirt, black dress, etc.
> Read more about Kouture Kapsule here!
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