It would be an understatement to say that the global fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental waste. For reasons that are umpteen, it is common to see leaps of used clothes either being burnt, put into landfills, or being put into heaps, only waiting to be picked up. According to WEF, in total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. That’s enough to fill the Sydney harbor annually.
Thankfully though, there are entrepreneurs looking to bring all sorts of change to how we function with our environment, and one such UK-based upstart just received a massive $6.6M in seed to further its mission.
London-based RESPONSIBLE, which provides an embedded finance platform for the fashion industry, has announced a $6.6M seed capital raise. Led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and Techstart Ventures, this is the largest seed round of capital ever secured within the reCommerce sector.
RESPONSIBLE’s platform is pretty simple to get through. The company helps fashion consumers realise the possible residual value of the product they are about to purchase, right at the purchase counter. So that once the consumer has used that product for as long as they wish to, they can return it back at the same value that was shown to them at the time of purchase.
“The fashion industry manufactures billions of items every year and only 5-7% of these clothes are sold for a second time,” said Mark Dowds, Founder and CEO, RESPONSIBLE. “We are enabling brands to not only become accountable for everything they produce, but also to financially benefit from a more circular and sustainable business model. Data sources like Black Book and Glass’s Guide transformed the automotive industry, we plan to do the same in fashion.”
The solution, which is also available as a nifty little plugin called ‘BuyBack’, is immediately available within the Shopify eco-system and will soon support other eCommerce Platforms. Not only does RESPONSIBLE provide their technology to fashion brands to keep products in circulation, but they also provide the infrastructure and operational capability to ensure this remains a seamless and low-touch way for brands to embrace a circular future.
RESPONSIBLE have launched with several partners including design-led brands RÆBURN and côte&ciel, alongside pioneering Denim brands, Kuyichi and Kings Of Indigo with more to be announced over the coming months.