As a Scaling Programme participant, SoftWear gains access to a network of technologists, scientists and industry experts, enabling it to accelerate and expand the adoption of its revolutionary Sewbot worklines

As a Scaling Programme participant, SoftWear gains access to a network of technologists, scientists and industry experts, enabling it to accelerate and expand the adoption of its revolutionary Sewbot worklines

Fashion for Good, a global initiative to make fashion more sustainable, is partnering with robotic sewing firm SoftWear Automation to encourage the use of its automated Sewbot worklines for apparel and footwear.

Launched earlier this year by C&A Foundation, the corporate foundation affiliated with global retailer C&A, Fashion for Good is an industry-wide call for collaboration to help brands, retailers and manufacturers find more innovative and sustainable ways of producing fashion.

C&A Foundation leads calls to re-think fashion industry

It will collaborate with SoftWear Automation through its Scaling Programme to facilitate change that is "accessible, affordable and attractive for all," demonstrating a shared commitment to fast-track sustainable innovation within the apparel supply chain.

Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation is working to disrupt the US$100bn sewn products industry with its next-generation sewing worklines for home goods, footwear and apparel.

The company's fully automated Sewbot worklines combine patented computer vision with lightweight robotics to move fabric to and through the needle more efficiently than a human operator. This technology will ultimately allow manufacturers to 'SewLocal', moving their supply chains closer to the customer while creating higher quality products at a lower cost. 

"Our Sewbots bring manufacturing closer to the consumer, reducing shipping, inventory and carbon dioxide," explains CEO Palaniswamy 'Raj' Rajan. "The current apparel supply chain is one of the largest polluters second to oil and is only held in place through the exploitation of low-cost labour."

As a Scaling Programme participant, SoftWear Automation will gain access to a network of technologists, scientists and industry experts, enabling it to accelerate and expand the adoption of its revolutionary Sewbot worklines.

"Fashion for Good shares our view that the global supply chain is broken, and we are excited to see how we can accelerate brands, manufacturers and partners to 'SewLocal'," adds CCO Pete Santora. "The apparel industry invests less than 1% into R&D and it is not just behind in creating new ideas, but implementing them as well. This programme addresses both and we look forward to 'doing good' through this partnership."

Meanwhile, Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good adds she looks forward to collaborating with SoftWear to make its "revolutionary" Sewbot worklines technology mainstream.

"At the core of Fashion for Good is innovation. Together with our partners, we aim to use innovation to move towards a world in which we take, make and remake, rather than take, make and waste."

Earlie this year, Rajan shared with just-style SoftWear's plans for the future, including the commercial launch of a fully automated workline for complete T-shirts – which should be available by the end of next year.

Sewbots pave the way for the apparel factory of the future