Sep 10, 2018

Rethinking the business of fashion with 12 new start-ups

Rethinking the business of fashion with 12 new start-ups

From bio based dyes and fibres made from banana trees to software developed specifically for closet management – these are a few examples of the next generation innovators that will be supported by the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator. Starting today, twelve selected start-ups will join the Accelerator Programme that aims to help innovative technologies and business models with the greatest potential to reshape the fashion industry for good. This involves a twelve-week curriculum, including mentorship from corporate partners adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, Kering, PVH Corp., Target and Zalando.

The twelve startups partaking in Batch 4 have been carefully selected out of hundreds of applicants and come from all over the world covering 3 continents and 8 nationalities. They represent varied supply chain areas with in this batch a specific focus on new business models. During the next twelve weeks, the Accelerator’s partners and mentors will drive market validation of the innovators’ technologies, to prime them for implementation at scale.

The selected start-ups for the fourth edition of the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator Programme are:
&Wider, Algalife, The Excess Materials Exchange (EME), GIBBON, Green Whisper, NOWNER, Reflaunt, reGAIN app, Save Your Wardrobe, Stuffstr, TrusTrace and The Vienna Textile Lab.

Fashion for Good was launched in 2017 and is supported by C&A Foundation as a founding partner. The Accelerator Programme is part of Fashion for Good’s Innovation Platform, which also includes a Scaling Programme and the Good Fashion Fund. The Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator is run in collaboration with Plug and Play – the most active early-stage investor globally – and corporate partners adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, Kering, PVH Corp., Target and Zalando. Together they are championing the replicable and scalable innovations that will accelerate the transition to a circular fashion industry.

&Wider has created a cloud platform which enables buyers and employers to hear about workers’ everyday lives and working conditions directly from the workers themselves. The cost-effective diagnostic tools offered by &Wider use mobile phones to track and encourage improvement in labour practices along the supply chain.

Algalife creates dyes and fibres from algae microorganisms. Their textiles release anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that can nourish and protect our body and skin. These bio based dyes and fibres also have a better environmental footprint than traditional manufacturing and dyeing processes.

The Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is a digital marketplace where companies can exchange excess materials and products. EME matches materials with their highest value reuse option, enabling companies to turn their waste into wealth, combatting unnecessary landfill, incineration, and overproduction.

GIBBON is an on-the-go rental marketplace which matches excess inventory from brands and retailers to travelers enabling luggage-less travel. This prevents travelers from having to buy temporary clothing for alternative climates, or seasonal sports activities.

Green Whisper creates sustainable products for daily use out of agriculture residue. Green Whisper specializes in banana fibre products: banana paper and banana fibre textile. They give a valuable second life to agriculture residue, helping to avoid environmental impacts from raw material use.

NOWNER has developed an online platform for brands which enables them to run their own renting platforms for customers, in order to create a circular system for the garment industry. From managing the online platform, deliveries and returns, to caring for and repairing garments, NOWNER aims to develop a network of pioneering brands committed to circular economy within the textile industry.

Reflaunt is a circular designed technology which bridges first-hand and second-hand markets, enabling high-end brands to give customers the option to re-sell, donate or recycle their wardrobes. This allows brands to take control and benefit from second hand systems.

reGAIN app has created the first digital, multi-brand takeback program which rewards recycling. Consumers can box up their unwanted clothing and ship them directly to regain and earn discount coupons to use online or in store. This combats the textile waste epidemic by preventing tons of unwanted clothing from going to landfill.

Save your wardrobe is an app where its users can build a digital wardrobe by instantly uploading their online purchases or existing items through computer vision. The app includes outfit recommendations, dry cleaning, alteration, selling and donating pointers, enabling its users to understand and manage their closets and use what they already own.

Stuffstr lets users capture the value of used stuff, regardless of its condition. They partner with fashion retailers to buy back unwanted products, and update consumers on the current resale value of their items. This makes it easy for users to capture that value at the touch of a button.

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.

The Vienna Textile Lab turns bacteria into colour. They fabricate organic dyes from naturally occurring bacteria in order to provide a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic colours. The process is resource-efficient and emits less carbon than traditional dyes.
Graduation of the startups will take place on November 29th at the Fashion for Good hub in Amsterdam, where they will showcase their innovations to an audience of industry leaders and investors.

About Fashion for Good
Fashion for Good is the global initiative that is here to make all fashion good. It’s a global platform for innovation, made possible through collaboration and community. With an open invitation to the entire apparel industry, Fashion for Good convenes brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders united in their shared ambition.

At the core of Fashion for Good is our innovation platform. Through our Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator, we give promising start-up innovators the expertise and access to funding they need in order to grow. Our Scaling Programme supports innovations that have passed the proof-of-concept phase, with a dedicated team that offers bespoke support and access to expertise, customers and capital. Both the Accelerator and Scaling programmes have in total supported more than 52 start-ups to date. The third element of the innovation platform is the Good Fashion Fund, that will catalyse access to finance to shift at scale to more sustainable production methods.

The international organisation – founded by C&A Foundation in March 2017 – now has 8 corporate partners, organised over 360 one-on-one introductory sessions between innovators and corporate brands, unlocked significant investments for start-ups, and has seen multiple production pilots come to life.

Fashion for Good also acts as a convener for change. From its hub in Amsterdam, it houses a Circular Apparel Community co-working space, creates open-source resources like its Good Fashion Guide about cradle-to-cradle clothing. Fashion for Good welcomes visitors to the Experience, where they can join a collective movement to make fashion a force for good. In October 2018 the Experience will reopen as the world’s first interactive tech museum dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation.

Fashion for Good’s programmes are supported by corporate partners adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette Group, Kering, PVH Corp., Target, Zalando, as well as organisations including the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, Impact Hub Amsterdam, McDonough Innovation, Plug and Play and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in 29 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 220 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk.

Press Contact
Fashion for Good
Anne-Ro Klevant Groen
+31(0)6 15367875
press@fashionforgood.com

Accelerator Contact
Fashion for Good-Plug and Play
Isabelle Laurencin
accelerator@fashionforgood.com

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