Fashion for Good is expanding its reach.
The Amsterdam-based sustainable innovation platform announced Wednesday the inaugural members of its South Asia Innovation Programme, which will nurture promising startups that are driving the fashion industry’s transformation to a circular system, where products and resources are not wasted but recaptured and reused.
The freshman batch of nine companies encompasses innovations in raw materials, waste management, dyeing, textile waste, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
“We are staunch ambassadors of industry-wide collaboration,” Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good, said in a statement. “With the launch of our regional Programme in South Asia, we strengthen our network and position us to better serve local manufacturers, key supply chain actors, brands and innovators.”
The companies—AltMat, BlockTexx, Descatuk, Indra, InfiniChains, JSP Enviro, PurFi, Sasmira and TextileGenesis—were selected by a jury of Fashion for Good advisory council members, including Neelandra Singh, managing director, India, at Adidas; Bart de Meirsman, director of sourcing at C&A; and Tejas Sampa, director of corporate responsibility, South Asia, at PVH Corp.; along with regional launch partners such as Lakshmi Poti, program manager, sustainable raw materials, at Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation); Dipali Goenka, joint managing director of Welspun; and Aamir Akhtar, CEO of Arvind.
Over the next four months, the nine companies will receive mentoring and support from Fashion for Good, its corporate partners and a “network of like-minded organizations” so they can grow and scale. Arvind and Welspun, in particular, will share their local manufacturing expertise, as well as potentially partner on pilots to test the viability of the innovations in a real-world setting.
“The Fashion for Good South Asia Innovation Programme brings together the most promising innovators whose technologies are set to transform the industry with manufacturers, like us, on the ground,” Welspun’s Goenka said. “The platform provides a pool of incredible talent that we can tap into and implement in our own ongoing efforts to move our supply chain toward circularity.”
The nine companies are:
Previously known as Canva Fibre Labs, AltMat turns agri-waste such as hemp and banana discards into yarn using a mix of mechanical, chemical and enzymatic techniques.
BlockTexx “turns waste into a resource” by employing its proprietary technology to separate blended polyester and cotton materials, such as clothing, into high-value raw materials.
Descatuk has developed a way to create a linen-like yarn using wild grass that flourishes in the highlands of India with little water and no pesticides. It also says it has a “positive impact on livelihoods” by providing fair job opportunities for locals.
Indra has created an affordable, fully automated, pollution-monitoring wastewater-management treatment system capable of a range of treatments, including electro-coagulation, electro-chemical oxidation, two-phase solids separation, disinfection and distillation.
InfiniChains leverages blockchain, AI and cloud computing to enable brands and manufacturers to digitize their sustainable practices and bridge the gaps between different sustainability systems using real-time data, efficiency and storytelling.
JSP Enviro uses microbial fuel cell technology to treat effluent water for reuse while simultaneously producing energy.
PurFi takes pre-consumer textile waste from corporate waste streams and “rejuvenates” them to virgin quality, creating a closed-loop solution that can handle everything from cotton to cotton-polyester blends.
Samsira’s supercritical carbon-dioxide dyeing technology is waterless, does not require chemicals, collects dye remnants for reuse and recirculates carbon dioxide in a closed-loop system.
TextileGenesis is a blockchain-based apparel traceability system that homes in on fibers such as wood-based cellulosics, organic cotton and organic wool. By scanning a barcode with the mobile device, consumers can follow the steps taken to create a product.