August 11, 2023
Meet Loriza Ibarra, a trailblazing Mexican-American entrepreneur and the creative force behind reFIND. We had the opportunity to talk with Loriza about the future of sustainability in fashion, building a community, and the journey of creating something remarkable from scratch. In our conversation, Loriza shared insights on her inspirations and the challenges she faced while turning her vision into reality.
LI: The concept of reFIND emerged from my years of experience in the fashion industry, where I worked in various roles, such as opening department stores, personal styling, and management. Through these experiences, I became acutely aware of the industry's numerous flaws. During my time at the university, I delved into case studies and sought solutions for the significant problems plaguing the fashion industry. It became evident that no single person, company, or brand could tackle these challenges alone.
This realization led me to conceptualize what reFIND could become. I asked myself how to combine my passions for fashion, sustainability, and community-building to create a real impact. Today, reFIND is a dynamic fashion hub at the forefront of sustainable fashion. It serves as a platform for discovery, experiences, and a vibrant community that celebrates innovation, empowers brands, and drives positive change in the industry. Throughout the journey of building Refind, there have been pivotal moments that highlighted the importance of collaboration as the key to creating movement in this industry.
DJ: What are some roadblocks you’ve faced to get where you are today?
LI: With any new venture or pursuit in life, always bring roadblocks and I definitely had my fair share of them. In the beginning, it was difficult to see the clear path forward, but that is because there never will be. There have been so many pivots in the creation of reFIND and I almost had to let it flourish and become what it was meant to be on its own. With sustainability being one of our core values and a huge part of the business, it is difficult to find investment to back the impact and change we want to see in this industry. While it is a highly discussed topic, the detriment of the fashion industry to the planet, there is sometimes a lack of monetary support to see impactful initiatives through. BUT I’m so motivated to see what reFIND can do in the future and how it can bring awareness and community together to move towards implementing actions. There are so many solutions out there that we hope to push to the forefront of the future of fashion.
DJ: Do you have any tips for those seeking to start our sustainable journey?
LI: I would say be gentle on yourself when getting started. We’ve all over consumed or bought fast fashion at some point and THAT IS OKAY! The whole premise of a sustainable lifestyle is figuring out what works for YOU at whatever stage you are at in YOUR life. The most important thing to always remember is to simply be intentional about what you buy, when you buy it, and from who. We love being able to find self expression in fashion and it should be fun! I think sometimes sustainability and fashion in the same sentence give people a predetermined idea of what the clothes look like, or that there are limited options, but the world is FULL of pieces just for you! Thrifting, renting, buying secondhand, clothing swaps or just supporting and incredible emerging designer are all a great place to start! There is no wrong way to participate and people are always welcome to join the reFIND community to learn more (:
DJ: Any advice for creatives or entrepreneurs?
LI: If you are an entrepreneur and can’t see the end goal, make a point to keep searching for it and take it one day at a time! Keep picking away at actionable steps, and I promise things become clearer and clearer as you go on. You just have to keep going!
For both creatives & entrepreneurs, my number one piece of advice is COLLABORATE. Send the email, DM, or walk up and introduce yourself! People are all searching for ways to improve their skill sets or portfolios, and people will be thrilled to have YOU in their network! Put yourself in the rooms you want to be in with the people you aspire to be like. You really are always just one person away from your next milestone.
DJ: If you were to go back in time and meet child Loriza, what would you tell her that she wouldn’t
So many things!! She wouldn’t believe that she has brought over 5,000 people together over the past 3 years, participated in NYFW, and been featured in magazines as “people to watch”, it all seems like a dream sometimes and makes me so excited about what the future holds!
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