A cloud platform that enables buyers to communicate with supply chain workers directly, a digital marketplace for companies to exchange excess materials and products, and textiles made from banana fibres are among the latest innovations with the potential to help brands and manufacturers find more sustainable ways of producing fashion.

From hundreds of applicants, covering three continents and eight nationalities, 12 start-ups have been awarded a place in the Fashion for Good Plug and Play Accelerator, a collaboration between Fashion for Good (with C&A Foundation as founding partner), Plug and Play and corporate partners Kering, Galeries Lafayette Group and C&A.

Launched last year, the Accelerator aims to fast-track sustainable innovation within the luxury and apparel industries.

The fourth batch of start-ups for the Accelerator Programme start a twelve-week curriculum today (10 September), including mentorship from corporate partners Adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, Kering, PVH Corp, Target and Zalando.

The 12 start-ups – &Wider, Algalife, The Excess Materials Exchange (EME), GIBBON, Green Whisper, NOWNER, Reflaunt, reGAIN app, Save Your Wardrobe, Stuffstr, TrusTrace and The Vienna Textile Lab – represent varied supply chain areas with a specific focus on new business models

Graduation of the startups will take place on 29 November at the Fashion for Good hub in Amsterdam, where they will showcase their innovations to an audience of industry leaders and investors.

The 12 start-ups in more detail:

  • &Wider has created a cloud platform that enables buyers and employers to hear about workers' everyday lives and working conditions directly from the workers themselves. The cost-effective diagnostic tools offered by &Wider use mobile phones to track and encourage improvement in labour practices along the supply chain.
  • Algalife creates dyes and fibres from algae microorganisms. Their textiles release anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that can nourish and protect the body and skin. These bio-based dyes and fibres also have a better environmental footprint than traditional manufacturing and dyeing processes.
  • The Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is a digital marketplace where companies can exchange excess materials and products. EME matches materials with their highest value reuse option, enabling companies to turn their waste into wealth, combatting unnecessary landfill, incineration, and overproduction.
  • Gibbon is an on-the-go rental marketplace that matches excess inventory from brands and retailers to travelers enabling luggage-less travel. This prevents travelers from having to buy temporary clothing for alternative climates, or seasonal sports activities.
  • Green Whisper creates sustainable products for daily use out of agriculture residue. Green Whisper specialises in banana fibre products: banana paper and banana fibre textile. They give a valuable second life to agriculture residue, helping to avoid environmental impacts from raw material use.
  • Nowner has developed an online platform for brands which enables them to run their own renting platforms for customers, in order to create a circular system for the garment industry. From managing the online platform, deliveries and returns, to caring for and repairing garments, Nowner aims to develop a network of pioneering brands committed to circular economy within the textile industry.
  • Reflaunt is a circular designed technology that bridges first-hand and second-hand markets, enabling high-end brands to give customers the option to re-sell, donate or recycle their wardrobes. This allows brands to take control and benefit from second hand systems.
  • reGAIN app has created the first digital, multi-brand takeback programme which rewards recycling. Consumers can box up their unwanted clothing and ship them directly to regain and earn discount coupons to use online or in store. This combats the textile waste epidemic by preventing tons of unwanted clothing from going to landfill.
  • Save your wardrobe is an app where its users can build a digital wardrobe by instantly uploading their online purchases or existing items through computer vision. The app includes outfit recommendations, dry cleaning, alteration, selling and donating pointers, enabling its users to understand and manage their closets and use what they already own.
  • Stuffstr lets users capture the value of used stuff, regardless of its condition. They partner with fashion retailers to buy back unwanted products, and update consumers on the current resale value of their items. This makes it easy for users to capture that value at the touch of a button.
  • TrusTrace helps brands define a clear plan for establishing product-level traceability. It provides a scalable digital platform for measuring, monitoring and communicating various activities in the supply chain, from the origin of the raw material to consumption and recycling, and can assess the sustainability footprint at each stage of the value chain.
  • The Vienna Textile Lab turns bacteria into colour. They fabricate organic dyes from naturally occurring bacteria in order to provide a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic colours. The process is resource-efficient and emits less carbon than traditional dyes.