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Fashion for Good Bets on These Startups to Accelerate Circularity

While circularity gains momentum in the apparel industry, Fashion for Good is betting on three startups to close the loop in coming years.

The global sustainable fashion initiative announced Tuesday that three new startups—Ambercycle, Bext360 and Tyton BioSciences—are participating in its Scaling Programme, a 18-month program that supports businesses with circular innovations that have passed the proof-of-concept phase. The startups, which focus on chemical recycling and traceability, will have the opportunity to connect with brands, manufacturers and investors that can help them scale their innovations across the global apparel industry.

Fashion for Good’s Scaling Programme now consists of eight participants: ColorZen, The Infinited Fiber Company, Softwear Automation Inc, Tamicare, Worn Again and the three aforementioned startups. Together, they aim to help the apparel industry shift from a linear model to a more circular one.

There could be concerns over the fate of used apparel; this is where Ambercycle comes into play. The startup, which focuses on transforming post-consumer textile waste into new fibers, says its fibers could replace synthetic materials. According to Ambercycle, its chemical technology may be used to produce conventional polymers, including polyesters, from apparel and textile fiber waste.

“The textile industry is on the brink of an incredible transformation,” said Akshay Sethi, Ambercycle’s co-founder. “The Scaling Programme of Fashion for Good builds the invaluable setting necessary to translate scientific breakthroughs into technologies that usher in this transformation.”

Traceability is an essential component of apparel circularity, and Bext360 wants to make apparel companies’ operations more visible. The startup enables companies to trace assets across various points of their supply chains, from sourcing origin to finished product, leveraging a combination of artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things and machine vision technology. As a traceability Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Bext360 aims to help companies track critical material streams, such as cotton, so they can bridge the gap between producers and consumers.

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“Our vision is to improve the global fashion industry through digital solutions that validate claims about product provenance, product authenticity and the conditions under which products are being made,” said Daniel Jones, CEO of Bext360. “Bext360 is the first traceability company to join the Fashion for Good Scaling Programme.”

Fostering the apparel “circle of life” is Tyton BioSciences, a startup that aims to develop technology solutions that promote the environment.

Tyton BioSciences recycles discarded garments to create the building blocks of petroleum-based and plant-based fabrics. Regardless of the type of material, including cotton, poly-cotton, nylon or polyester, the startup is working to recycle these materials using water as a solvent.

There are two potential benefits involved. First, the startup’s virgin-equivalent dissolving pulp and petroleum monomers could be sold at a competitive price to fiber manufacturers. Second, it enables the apparel industry to incorporate more sustainable materials in their supply chains.

“Fashion for Good’s ability to stimulate collaboration between like-minded fashion brands and cutting-edge tech companies will change the future of fashion sustainability,” said Peter Majeranowski, CEO of Tyton BioSciences.