Technology can be the best way to show consumers how to become slow fashion followers. This is something Hasna Kourda, the co-founder of Save Your Wardrobe, understands. Her app acts as a personal stylist, showing you how to make the most of your closet—from how to rewear and restyle your garments, to the best dry-cleaning options for your clothes. The idea is simple: to encourage consumers to make the most of clothes they already own. It centers around zero waste.
“Growing up in Tunisia, I was exposed to the values of sustainability and circularity when it comes to resource management. As children, we were very involved in understanding the finite and seasonal aspects of resources. (In the southern part of the country rain, and water in general, are very scarce). All of these values and principles were also applied to how we consumed clothing,” explains the Arab entrepreneur, who has loved fashion since she was a schoolgirl and who dreamed of growing up to be a designer.
But life had other plans and Kourda moved to Paris to study business and finance. It was her studies at Université Paris-Dauphine that first exposed to the power of technology.
A Recipe for Success
By mixing her passion for fashion, her academic knowledge of business and technology and her inherent understanding of the importance of sustainability, Kourda had all the pieces of the puzzle she needed to begin working on Save Your Wardrobe. She moved to London six years ago, a cutting-edge fashion city she felt would be the right home for her project.
“Bringing circularity to the fashion industry through artificial intelligence and other technologies is extremely disruptive. We are also adding the aftercare layer to our business model to fully enable circularity and impact in the industry,” she said. While the primary market for the app – launched just days before Coronavirus was declared to be a global pandemic- is the United Kingdom, the response from the MENA region has been encouraging. In fact, Kourda will be traveling to Dubai later this month to participate in GITEX, an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show that takes place in the city.
A Work in Progress
Kourda and her team are continually working on making the app more user friendly by adding more features. “Next to be live on the platform is a brand-new interface for aftercare and carbon footprint calculation, along with alternative shopping options to fast fashion brands,” she says. The timing of Save Your Wardrobe seems almost divine, as women have never been more aware of the need to be more conscious about their fashion choices. According to Kourda, “Within days of being live, we went from hundreds to thousands of users almost overnight. During the first lockdown, people were happy to stay home and declutter their house. Very quickly, our users were digitizing hundreds of items and interacting with us to share improvement suggestions and other feedback.”
Recently, online platform Medium named her one of the top 100 women in fashion tech. Also featured on the list is Natalie Massenet, the founder and executive chairman of Net-A-Porter, as well as fashion designers Iris Van Herpen and Stella McCartney. The list refers to Save Your Wardrobe as “a unique mobile application that brings a complete view of someone’s wardrobe.” Technology, Kourda feels, has been an enabler and by drawing from her Tunisian heritage and pushing the boundaries of new age software, she has become a fashion disruptor.