Hasna Kourda is the CEO and co-founder of Save Your Wardrobe, a digital wardrobe platform that offers users personalised recommendations and connects them with third party service providers. Save Your Wardrobe is working towards the goal of extending the lifecycle of fashion products. We spoke to Hasna about her background, how the idea of Save Your Wardrobe came about, as well as her passion for a circular economy and how we can extend the lifecycle of fashion.
Talk us through your career path and background.
Hasna is the founder and CEO of Save Your Wardrobe. She was born and raised in Tunisia and moved to France to study where she joined a business school, studying Economics and Corporate Strategy.
What was your motivation behind founding Save Your Wardrobe?
The idea was born after witnessing how western countries were consuming fashion in such a rapid manner. She explained this was different to the way she grew up, which was focused on circularity and optimising the resources that were available. She thought "this is something I need to work on" and there was technology out there that could be used to encourage people to commit to their clothing and wasting less.
How does Save Your Wardrobe work?
SYW is a digital wardrobe management platform. It creates your digital wardrobe in innovative ways - first through image recognition, it can digitise your items from a photo you have taken, and secondly through automatically scanning email and confirmation receipts to extract and find images clothing items you have recently purchased. This is a method that is exclusive to them and having it completely automated is "one of a kind technology and hassle free." The last pillar of the platform is having access to an ecosystem of services focused on aftercare, for example, repairs and donations.
"The platform allows you to plan outfits, plan which items you want to sell or repair and access to those skills and services. It is a lifestyle management app - it streamlines your life whilst building a circular business model."
How was it to launch your app this year?
She explained that they launched the app a week before lockdown and only marketed it to those already registered. But a week after launch, "we went straight on the app store list for best new apps to download" and now, their growth has been amazing.
Tell us a bit more about your journey as a founder.
Having lived in France for 10 years and the UK for 7, she explained "it is enriching to live everywhere but there are also barriers as an immigrant, in the appreciation of your work and in networking." Jumping into entrepreneurship was really a coincidence and she was simply focused on building a solution and studying the market. She described the change from building the platform on her own in her living room to joining accelerator programmes with her team as "challenging but highly rewarding at the same time." The fashion industry in particular was difficult to infiltrate especially as an outsider trying to make a change to the model, but more people are open to it now as they're more educated on what are genuine sustainable changes.
How has the lockdown affected your business?
She explained that SYW has had really steady growth over the pandemic and people are willing to rediscover their own spaces and items. On the app side, the most used feature was the uploading of items and next will be planning outfits once we're allowed out. They also had a 400% growth in services requests, meaning people are majorly decluttering and want to repair and clean their items responsibly.
Where do you see yourselves in 5-10 years?
Behavioural change is key to this future image. Even through the lockdown, people went from being open to sustainability as long as it wasn't too disruptive and not much action was taken, to developing strategies for actual change in the middle of pandemic - " a 180 degree change." This change will be the base of the growth, and they are aiming to stay customer focused and expanding worldwide.
How would you describe your personal style? And what's your favourite item in your wardrobe?
"My favourite item is one of my sisters skirts, she bought it when I was 4! She forgot it at my parents house one day and she's not seen it since.." Hasna loves the fact that it can be worn in multiple ways and said comfort was the main element of her style - she always looks for something unique and doesn't follow trends.
If you could rent anyone's wardrobe - dead, alive or fiction, whose would it be?
"I would love to go back in time to see the evolution of clothing and see what lasts the test of time. My sister showed me a picture of my grandmother wearing all this gold and jewellery and I would love to dress the way she used to."