Fashion, manufacturing

Fashion for Good kicked off its South Asia innovation program last week, selecting nine innovators “at the cutting-edge” of fashion’s circular transformation.

The selected innovators include agri-waste fiber-maker, AltMat; textile recovery technology, BlockTexx; wild grass craft textile developer, Descatuk; wastewater management treatment solution, Indra; microbial fuel cells technology, JSP Enviro; pre-consumer textile waste converter, PurFi; CO2 dyeing technology, Sasmira, and blockchain-based technology companies, Infinichains and TextileGenesis.

Since announcing the program in June, Amsterdam-based Fashion for Good has espoused a “boots on the ground” approach to advancing global industry change starting with local manufacturers, key supply chain actors, brands and innovators.

Stressing the importance of South Asia as a manufacturing base, Fashion for Good’s managing director Katrin Ley said, “having access to new innovations or being introduced to them at this stage can positively transform the entire fashion supply chain.”

“In addition, having a Fashion for Good team on the ground and working closely with brands, manufacturers, investors and innovators expedites the piloting process, and allows to offer bespoke coaching and mentoring. In that way, we can offer support that is better tailored to the region,” Ley explained.

WWD asked how far along program innovators are in scaling their innovations, to which Ley said — “The selected innovators are all at various stages of development,” either already deploying small-scale solutions to local manufacturers, with further refinement needed before scaling globally, or are successful at the lab stage, at present.

Her comment outlines the complicated nature of achieving sustainability at scale, where innovations especially need help with implementation.

“Our focus is not on one specific area of the value chain, but, as previously stated, on solutions that address the biggest impacts across the supply chain — from raw material and wet processing stages all the way through end of use; and transparency and traceability as an overarching enabler,” Ley reiterated.

At the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the organization recently coauthored a report with Boston Consulting Group called “Financing the Transformation in the Fashion Industry.” Since launching its Good Fashion Fund at the Hong Kong Fashion Summit last September, the organization has raised some $13 million in initial private equity to advance “high-impact and disruptive” innovators along the road to commercial scale by directly working with manufacturers and operators in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam to implement these technologies.

Anchor investors include C&A Foundation and The Mills Fabrica. This September, Fashion for Good aims to target an additional $30 million in private equity.

For More Sustainability News, See:

Fashion For Good Extends Reach in South Asia With Callout to Innovative Start-ups

Just a Mere $20B to $30B a Year to Transform the Industry, According to Report