Ebby Magazine




In an exclusive interview, Telicia Bunch, the visionary behind Lorrel, opens up about her journey into sustainable fashion and the unique approach of the brand’s Build Upon Wardrobing concept. This innovative concept, focusing on versatility, quality, and sustainability, is at the core of Lorrel’s mission to empower women to dress confidently while positively impacting the planet.







Telicia Bunch, the visionary force behind Lorrel, is steering the brand toward a new horizon in sustainable fashion, all while honoring her grandmother’s influence. Lorrel isn’t just about clothing; it’s a movement toward conscious consumerism and empowerment. In this exclusive interview, Telicia delves into the journey of Lorrel, her innovative approach to sustainable fashion, and the profound influence of her grandmother’s legacy. Through Lorrel, Telicia endeavors to empower women to embrace sustainability without compromising style, charting a course toward a more eco-friendly and ethical future in fashion.

At the helm of Lorrel, Telicia Bunch is revolutionizing the fashion paradigm, fusing sustainability seamlessly with style through a groundbreaking capsule wardrobe concept. Drawing inspiration from her grandmother’s grace and ingenuity, Telicia is on a mission to redefine sustainable fashion, one garment at a time. As a trailblazing black woman-owned sustainable apparel brand, Lorrel is redefining fashion standards, placing sustainability at its core. Utilizing eco-friendly materials such as recycled polyester and prioritizing local manufacturing in LA, Lorrel aims to minimize its environmental footprint. Telicia’s vision transcends mere clothing; it’s about empowering women to express themselves through style while positively impacting the planet. Through Lorrel’s commitment to quality, versatility, and sustainability, Telicia leads the charge towards a brighter, more conscientious future in fashion.



What inspired you to start Lorrel and focus on sustainable fashion?

With over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry working with major brands, I’ve witnessed firsthand the detrimental impact of the industry on both garment workers and the environment. This realization inspired me to create Lorrel, a brand dedicated to sustainable fashion. Lorrel offers an ethical and unique product that not only adds significant value to our customers’ lives but also promotes sustainable practices. Our mission is to empower individuals to reimagine their wardrobe by showcasing that getting dressed can be effortless, enjoyable, and chic while prioritizing ethical and sustainable choices.


Can you explain in more detail what the “Build Upon Wardrobing” concept entails and how it differs from traditional capsule wardrobes?

This concept encompasses two key aspects. Firstly, it allows your wardrobe to evolve and expand throughout the seasons. For instance, you can purchase a dress from our spring/summer collection and later pair it with a jacket from the fall/holiday season, extending the versatility of your favorite dress. Secondly, the concept emphasizes versatility, enabling you to wear one piece in multiple ways to build a diverse wardrobe. For example, our Theresa dress in the collection is meticulously designed to be worn both front and back, offering two distinct looks in one garment.

Telicia Bunch grandmother, Lorrel

What inspired you to name your brand Lorrel after your grandmother, and how does her influence continue to shape your approach to eco fashion?

My grandmother, Lorrel, left a profound impact on me with her resourcefulness, tenacity, and innate sense of style. As a child, playing dress-up in her closet and observing her impeccable fashion choices sparked my passion for fashion. This admiration led me to pursue a career in fashion and eventually inspired the concept of Lorrel’s line, which embodies our definition of the capsule wardrobe. Each piece is thoughtfully designed to harmonize with one another, enabling our customers to create multiple looks and maximize the versatility of their wardrobe, much like my grandmother did.


You mentioned that your grandmother used couture styling to elevate her career. Can you share any specific stories or examples of how her fashion choices impacted her professional life?

After my grandmother, Lorrel, became a single mother raising two boys on her own following her divorce, she faced the challenge of securing employment as a black woman during a time when opportunities were limited. She took a job as a bathroom attendant at a prestigious dining establishment where uniforms weren’t provided, but she was expected to present herself professionally.

Despite financial constraints, Grandma Lorrel showcased her innate fashion sense by carefully selecting quality pieces and creatively mixing and matching them to craft unique looks. She began offering fashion advice to patrons in the restroom, which caught the attention of management. This initiative and her impeccable style helped her advance to roles such as coat checker and waitress, allowing her to save up enough money to purchase a home for her family.

The logo of Lorrel is derived from her signature on the deed of the house she worked tirelessly to acquire. Even later in her career at Sears, Grandma Lorrel’s knack for styling made her a top seller as she assisted customers in putting together fashionable looks. Her journey is a testament to the power of fashion in shaping one’s professional trajectory and leaving a lasting legacy.


How do you envision Lorrel’s lasting impact on the fashion industry, particularly in promoting sustainability and ethical practices?

In addition to implementing internal practices aimed at eliminating waste, my vision for Lorrel extends to transforming the way women approach dressing and shopping. By advocating for sustainable brands made in the US and promoting conscious consumption, Lorrel aims to redefine the fashion landscape. Through our commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, we aspire to inspire positive change in the industry and empower women to make informed and responsible fashion choices.




Can you elaborate on your partnerships with manufacturers and artisans who share your vision for fair labor practices and ecological responsibility? How do you ensure that these partnerships align with your values?

We manufacture our products in Los Angeles, California, where the Garment Worker Protection Act, also known as Senate Bill 62, was recently enacted on January 1, 2022. This legislation addresses the proper payment of employees in the garment industry and outlines the responsibilities of parties contracting garment operations.

Fortunately, our manufacturer in Los Angeles already upholds ethical practices by paying fair wages and maintaining a clean environment with a strong focus on work-life balance for their employees. This ensures that our values for fair labor practices and ecological responsibility are consistently met.

Maintaining a close relationship with our manufacturer allows us to regularly visit their facilities, interact with the workers, and ensure that our products are produced in alignment with our values and standards. This transparency and collaboration reinforce our commitment to ethical manufacturing and sustainability.


What role do you believe fashion can play in promoting inclusivity and empowerment for women of color?

Fashion has the power to promote inclusivity and empowerment for women of color by actively hiring and elevating us at all levels within the industry. Throughout my career, I’ve often found myself among the few, if not the only, people of color in the company. By creating more opportunities for women of color in leadership positions, design teams, marketing departments, and beyond, the fashion industry can truly reflect and celebrate the diversity of its audience. This not only fosters a more inclusive environment but also empowers women of color to have a meaningful impact on shaping the future of fashion.


How do you balance the desire for sustainability with the need to stay competitive in the fast-paced fashion world?

Balancing sustainability with competitiveness in the fashion industry involves reevaluating traditional manufacturing methods and embracing more sustainable practices. While sustainable fabrics may currently come with a higher price tag compared to non-sustainable alternatives, domestic production offers several advantages. When factoring in minimum order quantities, duties, and shipping, domestic production can be more cost-effective. Additionally, domestic production eliminates the need for duties or tariffs and allows for smaller minimum orders, resulting in reduced inventory. This, in turn, can lead to increased full-price sales and greater market competitiveness while aligning with our sustainability goals.


What role does self-care play in your life, and how do you prioritize your well-being amidst the demands of entrepreneurship?

Self-care is a vital aspect of my life that I prioritize. I’ve always believed in pampering myself and regularly indulging in activities that promote my well-being. I find joy in working out, as it not only keeps me physically fit but also uplifts my mood. Additionally, I make it a point to treat myself to massages regularly, as they help me relax and unwind.

I am attentive to my body’s signals and know when it’s time to take a step back and rest. I believe in the importance of balance and understand the value of listening to my body’s needs.

In times of stress, I often reflect on the serenity prayer, “What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be.” This mindset helps me maintain perspective and prioritize my well-being, ensuring that I can navigate the demands of entrepreneurship with resilience and grace.


Can you share any habits or routines that have helped you stay focused and productive in your personal and professional life?

One of the habits that has greatly contributed to my productivity is making lists. Each morning, I start by creating a list of tasks that need to be accomplished throughout the day. As I complete each task, I check it off the list, which provides a sense of accomplishment and motivates me to tackle the next item. This simple yet effective practice helps me stay organized and focused and ensures that I efficiently manage my time both personally and professionally.


Telicia Bunch with her grandmother Lorrel


Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for Lorrel in the coming years?

My primary goal for Lorrel is to enhance the customer experience by bringing the brand to life in physical spaces. I am passionate about interacting with customers and personally showing them the versatility of Lorrel’s pieces and how easily they can be integrated into their existing wardrobes. As the brand continues to grow, I envision Lorrel becoming a destination where women can “reimagine their wardrobe” through personalized styling consultations and boutique experiences. I am committed to fostering a one-on-one connection with our customers through individualized styling sessions offering tips on creating unique looks. My aspiration is for Lorrel to become synonymous with empowering women to express their personal style and embrace sustainable fashion choices.


Looking back on your journey so far, what are you most grateful for, and what lessons have you learned along the way?

I am deeply grateful for the family I have been blessed with and the upbringing that shaped me into the person I am today. My career in fashion has been a source of immense gratitude, as it allows me to indulge my passion for creativity and self-expression every day. From a young age, playing dress-up ignited my love for fashion, and I am thankful to have found a career that allows me to continue to do so every day.

Throughout my journey, I have learned the invaluable lesson of trusting my instincts. Whether navigating professional decisions or personal choices, trusting my inner voice has consistently guided me in the right direction.


Do you have a personal mantra?

Keep moving forward.


What is your luxury for the soul?

My luxury for the soul is immersing myself in nature and finding serenity in its beauty.


Models showcasing Lorrel’s sustainable fashion line demonstrate different ways to wear each outfit, emphasizing versatility and sustainability. Discover more about Lorrel’s Build Upon Wardrobing concept at lorrel.com, where innovation meets conscious consumerism.