When it comes to innovating in fashion, the newest upcoming change makers are focused on new ways to approach garment fitting, material recycling, intelligent machinery and digital design.
Twelve of these innovators are joining the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator Program, which gives promising start-up innovators the expertise and access to funding to grow their businesses.
The sixth batch chosen to participate in the program includes new focus areas, such as fitting solutions, reusable packaging, recycling, reworking and intelligent machinery. Fashion for Good said these complement innovations from previous groups that comprised new materials, dyeing and finishing, circular business models and traceability.
In the area of recycling and circularity are Cadel Deinking, which removes printed ink and labels from plastics, and through mechanical recycling, can produce high quality recycled-content pellets that can then be used in the same applications as new material.
Frankie Collective salvages and reworks vintage garments and overstock that would otherwise end up in landfill into contemporary items, while RE-NT offers a circular, white label rental service and online platform.
Resortecs has produced a dissolvable stitching thread for easy repair and recycling. Used in attaching trimmings, such as zippers, buttons and fasteners, the threads are aimed at garment repair, recycling and reusing materials from unsold stock and dissolve when exposed to high temperatures.
To better package the industry’s goods, Returnity, has created custom-designed, reusable and recyclable shipping packaging for people and businesses.
Cocoon Biotech, offering traditional silk alternatives, has developed a bio-technology platform designed to produce a bio-compatible silk protein. Its platform dissolves raw cocoon silk, post-consumer silk waste and supply chain waste into a liquid protein solution to produce fiber, liquids and gel materials.
A spin out from the University of Oxford, Spintex manufactures strong silk fibers spun from water-based silk solution, partly sourced from pre-consumer waste streams.
Digital fashion is a focus for several innovators. The Fabricant specializes in photo-real 3D fashion design and animation that can be used in digital fashion editorial and clothing. PreSize is a web-based 3D body scanning technology that takes a video of the consumer from a smartphone to estimate key points of the body to achieve a high level of accuracy in measurements.
Then there’s Sozie, which takes fit and style feedback on garments from consumers that match the potential buyer’s size and body type. Customers are given 24 hours to find garments in stores and report back with photos, style comments and experience in fit. This results in creation of a library so shoppers can instantly browse content from consumers that match their body type.
In addition, Unspun is an on-demand apparel company that uses 3D scanning and fit algorithms to generate digital consumer sizing. Using the 3D information, consumers create a pair of customized jeans that custom fit through 3D weaving, eliminating back-end inventory, reducing wasteful processes and increasing the lifespan of garments.
The final innovator in the cohort of 12, Smartex, uses a combination of IoT sensors and AI/machine learning software for real-time inspection and detection of defects in fabric production.
Over the next 12 weeks, the selected innovators will participate in a robust curriculum that includes mentoring and industry expertise from the organization and its corporate partners. The innovators will also receive guidance on impact assessments, financial support and market validation to spur the implementation of their innovations at scale and help “catalyze the innovations into the mainstream fashion ecosystem.”
Fashion for Good’s programs are supported by founding partner C&A Foundation and corporate partners Adidas, C&A, Bestseller, Galeries Lafayette Group, Kering, Otto Group, PVH Corp., Stella McCartney, Target and Zalando.