Glenkora Comte or Kora, a native of Guayaquil, is a professional fashion designer working to bring her Ecuadorian brand to the U.S. market.
Kora started her career in Quito, where she developed a successful career in the Ecudadorian fashion industry. After participating in the 2012 Miami Fashion Week, Glenkora realized the establishing her brand was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass and that’s how Ecuadorian green design was born in the US.
With her strong passion and commitment to incorporating green designs, Glenkora founded the Association of Ecological Designer, also known as ARI. “I had achieved many of my goals, but there was something missing.” The goal, says Glekora, is to develop a new generation of fashion designers—one that is resposible, sustainable and aware of the environment. The organization’s mission is to promote new employment opportunities, fair trade, and training.
Kora said that the word ARI, which means yes in Kechua, pushes her to accomplish her dreams. “When you are starting a new project, you need to be positive and say to yes to everything: yes to challenges, yes to motivation, yes to failures and yes to succeess.”
The idea, she says, is “to inspire a Ecuadorian designers to preserve their style but get them to use organic and recycled materials—to be responsible fashion designers.” ARI also promotes the preservation traditional and family techniques that are passed from parents to children and make each piece and every collection unique. ARI also provides training to Ecuadorian designers to improve their products, the presentation and how to market them properly. “it is an opportunity to incorporate their heritage and tradition in fashion and show it to the world.”
Amongst her many efforts to expand her movement in Ecuador, Glenkora organized a competition for young enterpreneurs called Designing the Future, with the participation of students from 47 colleges and institutions from Quito, which counted with the support of the Ministry of Production and the Small Bussiness Chamber of Commerce.
Glenkora, who also describes herself as a women’s advocate, says that “managing ARI is an excellent opportunity to help women through fashing design, in an organization where many of the artisans and workers are single mothers.”
When it comes to recycled fashion, anything can be repurposed such as fabrics, buttons, zippers, buckles… anything can be reused and made into a new item. With designers from la sierra, la costa, Quito and Oriente, ARI designers also use organic materials that are turned into shoes, cloths, accesories, testices, souvenirs, among others.
“We are an environmental movement that is not protesting; instead, we are showcasing what can be done.”