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Plug and Play Accelerator Reveals 12 New Startups Changing the Face of Fashion

Image Credit: Fashion for Good

Just weeks after the launch of McDonough Innovation’s Fashion for Good innovation and practical action lab in Amsterdam, the 12 startups selected to participate in the Plug and Play — Fashion for Good accelerator have been announced.

The accelerator program seeks to find solutions for some of the fashion industry’s most significant environmental impacts, including water resource depletion, pollution, land use change and more. Under the accelerator, the startups will follow a three-month program during which Plug and Play, Fashion for Good and Kering will support them in scaling-up their innovations through mentorship, training, networking opportunities and other resources.

“These 12 innovative startups are helping us reimagine how fashion is designed, made, worn and reused. They each play a pivotal role in achieving the Five Goods of a transformed fashion industry: Good Materials, Good Economy, Good Energy, Good Water and Good Lives. And through the Plug and Play — Fashion for Good Accelerator, we will help these innovators grow their businesses and ultimately embed them into the global apparel industry,” said Leslie Johnston of C&A Foundation, a founding partner of Fashion for Good.

The 12 startups come from a wide range of fields and were chosen for their unique approaches to the textile supply-chain. The innovations range from developing new raw materials to alternative production methods and the development of new processes which enable closed-loop product lifecycles:

  • Agraloop: Agraloop transforms waste from fibrous food-crop production including hemp, flax, banana and pineapple into fibers for use in textiles. Processed using conventional cotton machinery, this new material offers a biodegradable and more sustainable alternative to conventional fibers.
  • Amadou: Made from the skin of amadou mushrooms, Amadou is a renewable, biodegradable, vegetarian and lower-environmental-impact alternative to leather. A pilot collection of footwear and accessories have already successfully undergone viability, aesthetic and durability tests to ensure Amadou is suitable for use within the textile sector.
  • Dragon: Founded by a team of electric and mechanical engineers, Dragon is a novel water purification technology which operates off light energy. The technology includes a high-efficiency water filtration system, which when applied to textile production processes could increase water quality whilst reducing the level of chemicals and energy required.
  • Dropel: Already developing performance-enhanced natural fabrics and fibers for the apparel industry, Dropel is a bio-degradable polymer that is implemented into the natural fiber. It repels all watery or oily substances, increasing the lifespan and durability of any fiber.
  • ICA Bremen: Using nanotechnology to introduce scanable tracers into fibers of organic cotton, ICA Bremen provides the technology needed to identify organic cotton and the mix ratio of conventional and organic within textiles. 
  • MySource: An intelligent online business network, MySource matches fashion professionals to the connections and information they need to build successful, sustainable businesses. The site builds on ten years of work by the Ethical Fashion Forum, and a global network in 141 countries.
  • MycoTex: A mushroom-based textile shaped on custom-fitted molds, MycoTex is a new one-step way of producing clothing that eliminates the need for spinning yarns, weaving and other processes. In addition to being chemical-free and requiring little water to develop, MycoTex is 100 percent biodegradable meaning clothing can be composted after use. 
  • Pili-bio: Via the use of microorganisms, Pili could enable the textile sector to phase-out petrochemical, non-renewable dyes and replace them with natural organic ones, notably reducing the level of toxic chemicals used in textile production.
  • RePack: Both a new type of packaging and a new business model, RePack has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of e-commerce packaging by 80 percent. Once a product is received, the client sends the packaging back to the store for reuse and thus closes the loop.
  • Sundar: Sundar is building the digital supply chain for the modern, faster, sustainable fashion industry. The platform connects manufactures and suppliers of textiles, trims, accessories and garments with brands and retailers, and enables in minutes what used to take weeks and months to accomplish.
  • Tersus: Via its water-free technology, Tersus offers a replacement to conventional high-polluting fiber and apparel cleaning processes. Specifically aimed at brands, dry-cleaning professionals, and industrial laundry cleaning, it uses recycled fluid CO2 (from industrial manufacturing) as a solvent instead of water.
  • Tipa: Having already developed 100 percent biodegradable and compostable packaging solutions made from bio-plastics for other industries, Tipa has the potential to reduce waste levels and the use of plastics in the fashion industry. 

“The key to sustainable progress is innovation and the ingenuity and endless possibilities that these twelve startups have brought to us is truly impressive,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “We look forward to working closely with them to achieve operational practicality and at the scale required for widespread adoption so that we can support the transformational change that is critically needed in our industry.”

The accelerator’s second edition will take place later in 2017 and Fashion for Good is already accepting applications.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


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