Hong Kong trip inspires new product launch for ECCI start-up

01 August 2017

ECCI’s resident sustainable fashion start-up Colour Elements has launched a new product after an inspiring try to Hong Kong, facilitated by ECCI.

Personal colour experts Colour Elements - founded by in-house expert Karen Finlayson - helps customers shop wisely on and off-line while keeping sustainable fashion dynamic and relevant to shoppers. The company delivers expert advice and knowledge via one-one sessions, talks, events, newsletters and via an online app.

It was on a trip to Hong Kong in 2015, facilitated by ECCI’s base in the region - the Hong Kong Centre for Carbon Innovation (HKCCI) - that Karen was inspired to expand her product line to reach new markets and help an entirely new customer base to shop wisely.

Karen explains the story of "Aether":

“For the purposes of personal colour analysis, colour has historically been divided into four main groups. When personal colour analysis was originally developed in the 70’s colours were classified according to the four seasons and this was the system that I trained in New York in the noughties. Over the years after my training I would occasionally have real difficulty identifying the appropriate colours for a customer. I suspected that this was down to my ineptitude and not a fault of the system.

“It wasn’t until I visited Hong Kong in 2015 that I hit a brick wall. I had always taken a real pride in offering the highest standard of colour analysis but I was shaken to find it so difficult to define the colours that worked best for customers in Hong Kong.

“I remember travelling on a bus through Hong Kong when there was a wonderful “epiphany moment”. The colour classification system that I’d created was incomplete! Just as there are five seasons in the Chinese calendar and five elements in Aristotle’s teaching there were also five groups of colours to use within personal colour analysis.

“My experience in Hong Kong led to the development of a whole new range of colours - Aether. The fifth element of aether contains a group delicate colours that are more difficult to define, just as the element of aether is more difficult to quantify than the more tangible elements of earth or water.”

The new Aether range is available on the Colour Elements app which was relaunched on 21 July. Find out more in Karen’s blog.