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These startups want to make fashion sustainable and Fashion for Good will help them

By Marjorie van Elven


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Five more startups have been selected to join Fashion for Good’s scaling program, which provides companies looking to make fashion more sustainable with a boost to scale up their businesses. These are the newcomers:

Ecovative, a New York-based startup developing sustainable materials from Mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. They have created Mycoflex, a high-performance foam that can be used in footwear, accessories, outerwear and lingerie. “Biological materials from wood to leather have been used for centuries but are confined to the geometry of a tree or a cow. At Ecovative we use the unique structure of mycelium to grow shapes and products that are not native to nature but inherently natural, safe and biodegradable in the process”, said Gavin McIntyre, founder and CEO of Ecovative, in a statement.

Natural Fiber Welding, a company which developed a welding process to reformat cotton and other natural fibers in such a way that short fibers can function as extra-long staple virgin fibers. According to Fashion for Good, this allows manufacturers to transform materials which are today considered waste into high performance circular yarns.

The Renewal Workshop cleans, sorts and repairs clothing that is returned, damaged, defective, out-of-season or post-consumer by partnering up with brands holding on to such articles and encouraging customers to give clothes they no longer want back to the brand. “With The Renewal Shop, apparel brands have an opportunity to design products with a longer life span, use a comprehensive take back system, and collect important product and sustainability data, all while unlocking a new sales channel of renewed products”, said founder and CEO Jeff Denby in a statement.

SeaChange Technologies, Inc. is developing the first non-thermal, non-membrane, zero-liquid-discharge, desalination system. According to Fashion for Good, this approach can help to “cost-effectively eliminate wastewater from the apparel supply chain”.

Yerdle Recommerce, a company offering white-label resale channels so that brands can buy back and resell used items. “It enables brands to take back control of the secondary marketplace”, said Fashion for Good. Andy Ruben, founder and CEO of the company, added: “The average customers bought 60 percent more clothing in 2014 compared to 2000. We need a better, more circular model to get more use of the items we have already made”.

Fashion for Good is an initiative to make the fashion industry more sustainable, backed by the C&A Foundation and supported by partners such as Adidas, Kering, Target, Zalando and Galeries Lafayette Group. The organisation’s activities include an innovation hub and a museum dedicated to sustainable fashion in Amsterdam, as well as a startup accelerator in the Silicon Valley.

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