Can sustainability and profitability go together?

Can sustainability and profitability go together?
Meet Selina Ho
Helping brands on their journey towards sustainability

Hi everyone,

I hope this finds you really well and that you're enjoying your weekend so far.

A big hello to our new subscribers: Kerry, Jaye, Tajy, 恵子, Lady Pamela, Annie, Ariadna, Erin, Monica, K, and Shoshana.

Today we're speaking to Selina Ho, founder and CEO of Recloseted - a consultancy company that helps brands incorporate sustainability into their operations in a way that helps them make money (i.e. it's not seen as a “cost” which is the big fear amongst a lot of companies).

I think Selina's approach is the right one: meaningful change will only happen when “doing good” is also profitable. It's a big ask, but let's hear from Selina herself.

Selina, take it away!


Hi Selina. Please introduce yourself.

My name is Selina and I'm the Founder & CEO of Recloseted. I'm originally from Vancouver, Canada but I now split my time between Vancouver and London. I'm a passionate advocate for the environment because I grew up in a city surrounded by beautiful mountains and the ocean. As such when I'm not working, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, meditation/yoga, or cooking a new recipe. I'm also a life-long learner and love reading books and listening to podcasts!


Tell us about Recloseted

Recloseted is the first one-stop sustainable fashion consulting agency. We help launch and scale slow fashion brands and help existing brands become more conscious. We are in the business of making it worthwhile and profitable for brands to incorporate sustainability.

I started Recloseted in 2018 to transform the harmful fashion industry. I knew I had to do my part after learning the devastating truths behind our garments. So, I gathered a team of all-stars — from sourcing experts to material scientists and leveraged my own business experience working at startups and Fortune 500s to help our amazing slow fashion clients.

To date, I'm super proud that we've grown to 8,000+ community members, helped 300+ brands, and given back 10% of our proceeds + billable hours to the fashion community. Our Recloseted Radio podcast is also the top 5% of podcasts in the world and the top-rated podcast for slow fashion founders!


One of our favourite tips from Selina: Start small and work your way up!

What would surprise people about your work?

Similarly to most entrepreneurs, no day is really the same! Some days I'm in back to back meetings, other days I'm creating content for our community, and other days I'm travelling and at conferences. But I absolutely love it. I'm currently in a season in which I work 6 days a week BUT I love it and my work fuels me. It's okay if you need to work a lot in the early days (don't feel guilty about it) but just make sure you take care of yourself as well.

I also tried the digital nomad lifestyle for 1.5 months and realized it was not for me. I really thrive on having an office environment with my monitor, keyboard, etc. I also realized travelling while working is hard because you want to see the city, but you also need to get stuff done. I'm more of a travel for conferences & vacation and then work when I need to work type of gal lol.


What does sustainability mean to you?

Personally, I think sustainability is all about balance. If we wanted to be truly sustainable, we wouldn't leave our homes, we wouldn't start businesses, we wouldn't travel, etc. But that's not realistic. So instead, we need to balance the act of “living our lives” but doing it in a responsible way so that we leave enough for future generations.


What's your biggest challenge at the moment? 

Managing workloads (myself and our team's) and finances.

Regarding workload, we have so much on the go (and I always have more ideas than we can execute!) so I am constantly trying to figure out what we should prioritize and what we should leave for later. Burnout is something I really struggled with in the first three years of my business and now I'm getting a lot better at deleting, delegating, or delaying.

In regards to finances, we are in a bear market I'm being really smart about how we spend our funds and making sure we have enough runway. I'm personally not taking a salary right now because we are investing in team members, technologies for our clients, and saving cash for rainy days. I know a lot of other founders that also aren't paying themselves right now and just know that there's no shame in it! There are seasons in business and we're just in a season right now where most business owners need to be more intentional about their funding. But don't worry, I strongly believe that funding will not dry up for genuinely conscious and sustainable brands.

Every penny counts when running a small business.

What's your favourite part of your work?

Working with our amazing clients to get them results and leading my all-star Recloseted team. I love strategic work and solving complex problems. So the fact that I get to call this my job, help passionate and incredible clients, and work alongside my stellar team to transform the fashion industry… it's an incredibly rewarding feeling.


And the most difficult part?

Running a company is difficult. It's been one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done, but also one of the most challenging. In order to level up and continue to grow your business, you as a Founder need to continue to grow too. I never want to the bottleneck for how far Recloseted can go, so that means I need to continuously learn, develop, and push myself. Don't get me wrong, I love the journey but sometimes it can be isolating. That's where great mentors and entrepreneurial friends come into play though!


Biggest life lesson?

I have so many life lessons (especially since founding a company) but here are my top 3:

  1. Everything matters and at the same time, nothing matters. Yes, it's important to do good work, pursue your dreams, etc. But in the grand scheme of things, we're just microscopic specks in the universe so don't take things too seriously and try not to stress out too much.
  2. It will work out the way it's supposed to. As someone's that a control freak (I'm working on it!), I am trying to let go and only focus on things that I can impact.
  3. Spend time with your loved ones. When my grandpa passed away (he was one of my primary caretakers when I was younger), I regreted not spending more time with him. While your loved ones are still around, make time to see them and tell them how much they mean to you.


The all-star Recloseted team

Which is your favourite LUXTRA product?

The Farrell backpack in black !


What are your top 3 things to eat / see / do in Vancouver?
  1. Bike or walk the seawall
  2. In the winter, ski/snowboard in Whistler (a bonus is that you get to drive along the Sea to Sky highway) and in the summer, do a hike in the Howe Sound area
  3. There are so many great restaurants in Vancouver. Some of my favourites: Miku, Fable Kitchen, Sula Indian Restaurant, East is East, Apollonia Greek Restaurant… and go to Richmond for Asian food (e.g. bubble tea, dim sum, etc.)


And finally, here are some resources Selina would like to share with us:
  1. Recloseted Radio podcast - interview episode with Jessica from Luxtra
  2. Recloseted YouTube channel - just launched last month!
  3. The Launch Method by Recloseted - a free 30-page ebook on how to go from idea to successful $20,000+ launch.

Shop Selina's favourite LUXTRA piece for your back to school moment!



I hope you've enjoyed meeting Selina and gleaned something from her insights into sustainability and the fashion industry.

As always I love to hear from you.
Sending you my best,

Founder | Happy Fashion Networker | Proud B-Corper

Reading next

A few favourite podcasts 🎙️
Vegan Leather & Soul Searching