When he lived in the UK for his studies and was faced with similar situations, he recalled his grandmother’s practices. “In Cambridge, the only shop that provided fabric was a rather old-fashioned one where elderly ladies wanting to sew pillows went. Alternatively, we could drive to London to buy textiles, but that was costly and time-consuming. None of these two choices seemed like a good solution to me. Instead, I went to one of the many charity shops that are everywhere in England, and bought inexpensive, second-hand clothes to repurpose them. That’s how I unconsciously started my upcycling journey,” he explains. Afterwards, when studying at Kingston University, he was once again confronted with looking for sustainable alternatives because he did not identify with some of the values that conventional fashion brands uphold. “The Bachelor of Arts programme that I did was wonderful. It gave me so many different opportunities for projects within the industry, but most of them were with fast fashion brands and I found that what I wanted to do was different. So after graduating, I went back to Hong Kong and started working for an independent label. During that time, sustainable fashion had not yet reached the masses, but I still felt like we had a positive culture and a solid foundation in the studio I was working in. Somehow though, for me, that was not enough. I started questioning the whole process of creating a new collection. When you design something new, you waste so much material, so much fabric,” contemplates Lee. These thoughts almost made him give up fashion. In search of a balance between sustainability and continuing his creative career, he started working for a costume company. Lee sees this time as extremely valuable because it taught him the craft of designing from a different perspective. While he loved costume design and worked for clients like Disney, he could never fully forget fashion.