The Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator has revealed the names of the 15 startups selected to participate in its third edition, which kicks off today. Over the next twelve weeks, this new generation of innovators — whose future-fit products and technologies include everything from biodegradable glitter to seaweed-based fabric — will follow a robust curriculum including mentorship from Accelerator partners adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, Kering, Target and Zalando, with the aim of transforming the fashion industry for good.
Launched in 2017, the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator works to find and scale innovative technologies and business models that have the greatest potential to reshape the industry for good. Supported by the C&A Foundation and run in collaboration with Plug and Play, the program is part of Fashion for Good’s Innovation Platform, which also includes a Scaling Program and the Good Fashion Fund.
The 15 startups partaking in the Accelerator have been selected out of hundreds of applicants and come from all over the world, spanning four continents and 10 countries. Their work targets various stages of the fashion supply chain, from raw materials to business models. Over the next three months, the program’s partners and mentors will drive market validation of the startups’ technologies, to prime them for implementation at scale. In addition, the startups will be screened for potential funding to support the development of their businesses.
The selected startups for the third edition of the Accelerator Program are:
Envisioning the role of consumption in a just, regenerative economy
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A biomaterials research group based at The Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia University, startup Algiknit produces textiles extruded from kelp. The extrusion process turns the biopolymer mixture into kelp-based thread that can be knitted or 3D printed to minimize waste. The final knitwear is biodegradable and can be dyed with natural pigments in a closed-loop cycle.
BioGlitz is making sustainability glamorous with its unique biodegradable glitter. Derived from eucalyptus tree extract, the eco-glitter is fully biodegradable, compostable and doesn’t contribute to the ever-growing microplastics problem.
Berlin-based circular.fashion has created a software that interconnects circular design, circular retail models and closed-loop recycling technologies, enabling fashion brands to design circular garments. Circular clothes are attributed a unique circularfashion.ID that provides customers with options of how to increase the useful life of their products by circular retail models and orchestrates a partner network to enable material specific recovery for fiber-to-fiber recycling.
FLOCUS produces natural yarns, fillings and fabrics made from kapok fibers. The kapok tree can be naturally grown without the use of pesticides or insecticides in arid soil not suitable for conventional farming, offering a sustainable alternative to natural fiber crops such as cotton, which requires considerable water inputs.
Frumat uses apples to create a leather-like material. Apple pectin is an industrial waste product which can be used to create sustainable materials that are both compostable and durable enough to be used to create luxury fashion accessories. The leathers can be dyed naturally and tanned without chemically intensive techniques.
An app providing ethical ratings for around 1,000 fashion brands, Good on You aims to build consumer awareness and transparency in the fashion industry. Brands are rated on their impact on people, the planet and animals. It is built on a robust brand rating system which aggregates standards, certifications and publically available data sources into a simple, accessible 5-point score to allow consumers to make conscious purchasing decisions.
Mango Materials, which participated in the SB’13 San Diego Innovation Open, produces biodegradable bio-polyester that can be used as a sustainable alternative to conventional polyester. Microfibers produced from the biopolyester can biodegrade in many environments, including landfills, wastewater treatment plants and the oceans, helping to prevent microfiber pollution and contributing to a closed-loop bio-economy for the fashion industry.
Nano Textiles offers a sustainable alternative to binder chemicals normally used to attach finishes onto a fabric. Its technology embeds fabric finishes directly into fabric using a process called Cativation and can apply to a range of products such as antibacterial and anti-odor finishes or water repellency. This protects the end user and the environment from the leaking of hazardous chemicals.
Orange Fiber manufacturers natural fabrics from citrus by-products. The material is made by extracting the cellulose from the fibers that are discarded from the industrial pressing and processing of oranges. The fiber, through nanotechnology techniques, is enriched with citrus fruit essential oils, creating a unique and sustainable fabric.
Helping drive the shift away from plastic, PAPTIC manufacturers alternative bio-based packaging materials that are made from sustainably sourced wood fibers. The material mimics the properties of paper and plastic commonly used in the retail sector, but with a much higher tear resistance than paper. The material can be recycled alongside cardboard.
To help stem the tide of microplastic pollution, PlanetCare has developed a microfiber filter to be integrated in washing machines. The system works on the microfiltration of water based on electrically charged fibers and membrane nanotechnology.
Provenance bio engineers a true leather equivalent by programming the self-assembly of collagen molecules, the building blocks of leather. This next-generation fabric delivers a more efficient and sustainable alternative to leather without harming animals.
Reverse Resources, an H&M Foundation Global Change Award winner, is a platform that enables fashion brands and garment manufacturers to address pre-consumer waste for industrial upcycling. The Software as a Service (SaaS) platform allows fabric and garment factories to map and measure leftover fabrics and scraps so that these become traceable throughout the entirety of their life cycles. By mapping the waste material in the factory, these resources can eventually be reintroduced into the supply chain, limiting the use of virgin materials.
Scalable Garment Technologies Inc.
Scalable Garment Technologies Inc. (SGTI) has built a robotic knitting machine linked with 3D modeling software to make custom seamless knit garments. The knitting technology enables digitalization of the entire production process and on-demand manufacturing of custom seamless knit garments. What’s more, SGTI allows responsiveness to consumer demand while reducing waste.
Style Lend is a fashion rental marketplace. AI and machine learning are used to match users based on fit, as well as style. By renting out garments consumers can extend the life cycle of clothing and delay its entrance into landfill.
Following the completion of the 12-week acceleration program, the 15 startups will present their innovations to an audience of industry leaders and investors. The showcase coincides with a graduation ceremony to take place on June 14th at the Fashion for Good hub in Amsterdam.