Fashion for Good Hosts First Innovation Day in South Asia with Colombo Innovation Tower
2 December 2019
AMSTERDAM- Fashion for Good hosted their first Innovation Day in South Asia, orchestrated in partnership with Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT), an initiative of the Design Corp Group, on November 28th. The event leads up to the launch of Fashion for Good’s dedicated regional innovation programme which officially starts in January 2020. A jury of key industry leaders from the region, brought together by CIT, were present to hear a carefully curated selection of ten innovators, invited to pitch their sustainable solutions for the chance to join the Fashion for Good Innovation programme. Managing Director of the Design Corp Group, Lin Gong-Deutschmann, officially opened the event which also marked the launch of Colombo Innovation Tower, a collaboration space to drive innovation in design and technology in Sri Lanka.
(Design Corp Group), Sachindi De Silva (Design Corp Group), Prajeeth Balasubramanium (BOV Capital), Tjeerd Veenhoven. Credit: AOD/Colombo Innovation Tower
Fashion for Good is the global initiative bringing together the entire apparel industry to innovate and collaborate for Good Fashion. South Asia is a global leader in manufacturing and one of the largest consumer markets for fashion. Partnerships with local brands and manufacturers, such as Colombo Innovation Tower, is key to bringing together the industry and other ecosystem players. With this collaborative partnership, Fashion for Good is seeking to provide a platform for innovations in Sri Lanka that allows them to scale through our Innovation Programme.
As Fashion for Good continues to expand their activities in the region, the Innovation Day represents the first official event leading up to launch of the dedicated regional innovation programme. The events of the day, were orchestrated by Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT), a central hub for innovation in the region by Design Corp Group, that brings together the entire regional fashion ecosystem, including key stakeholders, investors, brands and manufacturers, as well as a select press. Lin Gong-Deutschmann, CEO of Design Corp Group, officiated the opening of the Innovation Day, with well over one hundren attendants including manufacturers Brandix, Hela, Hirdaramani, MAS, Shore to Shore, Teejay and many more.. Dutch Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Tanja Gonggrijp, addressed the audience in her opening keynote, speaking on the innovation opportunities and potential in Sri Lanka, and was followed by the innovator pitches.
With innovations ranging from blockchain traceability solutions to using machine learning to reduce waste in the production and fitting stage of the supply chain, to innovations in materials, dyeing and energy usage, the ten innovators pitched their solutions to jury members Madu Rathnayake, CIO of Virtusa, Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Founder of BOV Capital and Rogier van Mazijk, Investment Manager at Fashion for Good.
The selection of innovators that are invited to join the Fashion for Good Innovation Programme will be announced at a later date. The selected innovators will gain priority access to a network of global partners such as founding partner C&A Foundation, and corporate partners adidas, C&A, CHANEL, BESTSELLER, Galeries Lafayette Group, Kering, Otto Group, PVH Corp., Stella McCartney, Target and Zalando and affiliate partners Arvind, Norrøna and Welspun, as well as to funding, mentoring and bespoke coaching, providing innovators with the tools needed to grow.
H&M Change award winner and sustainable designer, Tjeerd Veenhoven, also took to the stage, showcasing his new project, producing yarn from locally sourced Palmyrah fibers, which he is developing in partnership with Colombo Innovation Tower. Three of Fashion for Good’s Accelerator Alumni: Natural Fibre Welding, Reverse Resources and Trustrace, were also present during the Innovation Day, pitching their sustainable solutions in circular material innovation, fabric and garment traceability and supply chain traceability using blockchain respectively.
With a rich heritage in textile manufacturing and production, South Asia presents significant opportunities to create value and impact, both socially and environmentally. Fashion for Good is seeking to spark and scale promising innovations from this region, catalysing collaborative pilots such as the recently concluded Organic Cotton Traceability Pilot, a collaborative initiative between Fashion for Good, C&A Foundation and the Organic Cotton Accelerator with support from C&A, Kering, PVH Corp. and Zalando with Bext360, an innovator from the Fashion for Good Scaling Programme.
Regional innovators attending Innovation Day:
Linear Squared offers machine learning & advanced data analytics solutions & has launched a fully automated planning platform for the apparel industry. The company has various products focusing on aspects such as planning, capacity, sales & retention. Trough alignment of data, algorithms & technology they enable companies to reduce returns & reduce input of resources as well as better estimate future production.
A traceability solution that uses blockchain as its backbone to give brands the ability to showcase trustable, traceable information about origin of the product, sustainable practices, social impact & certifications. Tracified bridges the gap between consumers looking for trusted suppliers & suppliers looking for creating a more transparent supply chain.
Canva Fibre Labs is a company looking to provide sustainable & superior textiles made from bast & waste food fibres processed using proprietary technology. They currently work with raw hemp fibre & banana agro-waste which is sourced through government nodal agencies & farmers directly. With their technology they can produce fibres & yarns of industrial fit.
Promethan Energy extract energy from waste heat which gives factories the opportunity to reduce energy consumption & increase energy savings. This is done through recycling heat units which can be attached to the current machines within a factory. By implementing the innovation a factory can reduce the heating time & coal consumption by ca 30 percent.
Proklean is a company with several solutions to replace chemicals in textile dyeing & finishing with probiotics. The biodegradable & non-toxic chemicals can be used in existing processes & is applicable to any dyestuff. The proprietary probiotic technology keeps the same standard for flexibility, stability & is cost competitive with conventional chemical products.
Stylumia helps fashion & lifestyle professionals to do precise predictions when it comes to trend spotting, purchase quantity & retail distribution. Stylumia enables brands & manufacturers to make informed decisions about present corrections & future directions by applying advanced AI & computer vision. The data backed insight makes it possible for brands & manufacturers to both reduce waste & generate greater revenue streams.
Fit.On Clothing is an online measurement prediction system that erases the need for users to measure themselves as well as an open online platform where businesses can sell their clothing. Under 30 seconds the measurements can be taken from a photo & be available to the customer. With Fit.On Clothing businesses can reduce the turn back rate & have more satisfied customers.
Kiabza is a new venture of the Kischo group a 4 generation textile business house. It is an online platform for buying & selling of preowned clothing in India & has currently 1500 brands on their approved brand list. The clothes that are not sold within a 6 month time span is either sent back to the owner or sent to charity dependent on the customer’s preference.
nCinga aims to drive digital transformation by empowering data driven decisions. Their real time industrial IoT platform gives manufactures the right tools to move from mass production to mass customization. Their technology enables factories to shorten lead times, reduce defect rates & waste materials, measure capacity levels as well as track goods. It also, digitally connects brands & factories to a cloud factory system.
RES.Q is cloud based suite of solutions which is designed & developed to address specific pain points in the apparel industry which is not catered to by traditional ERPs in today’s market. By leveraging the use of real-time shop floor data & powerful business intelligence RES.Q empowers its users with the luxury of real time visibility of all their shop floor processes. RES.Q currently provides solutions ranging from quality management, shop floor machine/asset management, employee skill management to complete manufacturing execution.
Fashion for Good Alumni Innovators:
TrusTrace helps brands define a clear plan for establishing product-level traceability. It provides a scalable digital platform for measuring, monitoring and communicating various activities in the supply chain, from the origin of the raw material to consumption and recycling, and can assess the sustainability footprint at each stage of the value chain
Reverse Resources is a platform that enables fashion brands and garment manufacturers to address pre-consumer waste for industrial upcycling. The platform allows fabric and garment factories to map and measure leftover fabrics and scraps so that these become traceable through their following life cycles. By mapping the waste material in the factory, these resources can eventually be reintroduced into the supply chain, limiting the use of virgin materials.
Natural Fiber Welding transforms abundant, biodegradable natural fibres into high performance products using patented processing methods. The platform leverages nature’s existing abundance and diversity of renewable materials with ultimate scalability in mind; using clean chemistries in closed-loop systems with energy efficient automation means that the process remains cost effective, people + earth-friendly whilst also expanding the reach of the original nano-technology – life.