India’s first investor showcase for circular & sustainable fashion startups by Intellecap CAIF took place at Lakmé Fashion Week

Mumbai, 27 August 2019: Innovative startups from India with disruptive sustainability solutions applicable to the fashion supply chain will now have the opportunity to be part of a regional innovation program launched by Fashion for Good, in partnership with Arvind Ltd. and Intellecap.

This year – the fashion industry saw a new perspective on what sustainable fashion means at Lakmé Fashion Week. Delegates at Sustainable Fashion Day – Lakmé Fashion Week witnessed India’s first investor showcase for circular & sustainable fashion enterprises on Sustainable Fashion Day, 22nd of August 2019.

The Circular Changemaker’s Showcase was organized by Intellecap’s Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF), an industry-led platform launched in partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail and The DOEN Foundation to drive a circular apparel & textile economy in India, along with the Circular Design Challenge of IMG Reliance and its partners R Elan and UN Environment.

The program – Circular Changemakers – was launched in June 2019, and received over 70 applications from across 21 cities in India. After going through a review by a selection committee and a three-day investment readiness bootcamp, six enterprises pitched their solution to a high level investor panel, comprising of investment funds and business enablers such as Aavishkaar, Asha Impact, Fashion for Good, UN Environment, and corporates such as Mahindra Retail, and H&M Co:Lab.

The innovators include:
Canva Fiber Labs: An alternative fiber and a material science company that uses a proprietary (provisional patented) technology to convert agriculture waste into textile fibers that are environmentally, socially, and economically superior.

Reverse Resources: An enterprise that maps and traces textile leftovers from fabric and garment production to enable data sharing from source of waste to recyclers and build efficiency of waste management and trading through digitalisation and software as a service.

Greensole: An enterprise focused on recycling discarded shoes to comfortable footwear, and keeping the waste away from landfills. Greensole upcycles and retails footwear to further create a self-sustaining venture and works with large corporates to handle their waste footwear.

Saathi Eco Innovations: Saathi has developed a single platform technology to process different kinds of natural fibers into highly absorbent pulp that has multiple use-cases such as a 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary pad made from banana fiber.

JSP Enviro: A technology company that has created a revolutionary product which conserves & treats effluents/wastewater while maintaining energy efficiency. Their Microbial Fuel Cell innovation is an effluent treatment technology that can generate electricity from processed effluents and treat the water for reuse.

Speaking about the program, Stefanie Bauer-Vemuri, Director Circular Apparel Innovation Factory said “The enterprises showcased at Lakmé Fashion Week highlight the variety of innovations that are emerging in India in the sustainable fashion space – from fibres to end-of-use and recycling solutions, all with the potential to make a difference in India’s textile and apparel industry. We are excited to see such a positive response in the industry to join this first ever investor showcase, and are committed to organize more such events in the future that bring the ecosystem together on one platform.”

The showcase was part of a larger effort of the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) and its partners to build the capabilities and the ecosystem needed to transition to a circular textile and apparel industry in India. One of the key ecosystem gaps identified is the limited visibility of innovative solution providers, coupled with limited scaling-support to these enterprises. The Change Makers Program was one response to address critical market barriers and catalyze strategic collaborations, investments, and partnerships among enterprises, corporates, investors, and other industry players.

“We at the Aavishkaar Group pioneered the idea of impact driven sustainable investing in India, Africa, and South East Asia. As we look at the textile sector, and specially the apparel sector from the lens of circular economy and sustainability, we see the need for innovative ideas and startups… to nurture these innovators, we need a flourishing ecosystem in addition to capital. Through Intellecap and CAIF, we hope to contribute to this process and see transformation sweeping through the Indian apparel industry”, said Vineet Rai, Founder, The Aavishkaar Group.

Join India’s first online platform for circular fashion brands, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, investors and enablers: www.circularapparel.co

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