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Bestseller invests in three sustainable start-ups

By Rachel Douglass

10 Aug 2021

Business

Image: Bestseller, Fashion FWD

Danish retailer Bestseller and its investment platform Invest FWD have announced they will be working with three new sustainable start-ups.

Innovators include Circular Systems, Nature Coatings and Evrnu, all of which were selected for their potential to change the industry and contribute to a more circular clothing cycle. The investments are part of Bestseller’s progress in reaching its mission of becoming a ‘climate positive’ and ‘fair for all’ retailer.

Each company targets a niche area of sustainable innovation, offering new solutions to wider issues. Nature Coatings is the developer of a black pigment, sustainably produced from wood waste, whilst Evrnu specialises in bioengineered fibre and regenerative cellulosics systems. Circular Systems also include textile and food crop waste that contribute to the production of conventional yarn.

Reaching commercial scale

The announcement follows Bestseller’s recent investment with Finnish textile innovator Infinited Fiber Company. Each investment company has already been working closely with the retailer to ensure it fits with the brand values and has the potential it is looking for.

“It’s extremely important that major brands are willing to invest in companies like these, otherwise their promising innovations will not reach commercial scale,” said Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, Bestseller’s sustainable materials and innovation manager, in a statement. “With these investments we demonstrate that we are willing to move backwards in our value chain, investing at fibre level. This is the direction the entire industry needs to follow, and I can say as much that Bestseller is not done with exploring investments in this space.”

Generating Change

The new investments add to the growing portfolio of sustainably innovative companies that have partnered with Bestseller. At the end of 2020, Bestseller launched the platform Fashion FWD Lab created to identify innovations in sustainable fashion and generate partnerships on pilot projects that are home to such innovations.

Previous collaborations have included alternative leather producer Beyond Leather and The Organic Cotton Accelerator, which aims to bring security and social and environmental development to the cotton production industry.

“These innovations all have something in common: the potential to generate change in the fashion industry,” explains Invest FWD’s Jeppe Bredahl. “We believe that the changes needed within the fashion industry require strategic support for innovations to thrive and reach commercial scale. With Invest FWD we can combine access to capital with a brand perspective which contributes to accelerating positive outcomes for innovators and the broader industry on the most critical sustainability issues covering the full life cycle of fashion.”