Tau Investment Management is partnering with clothing giant Gap Inc to promote "best-in-class" innovations and support the development of more sustainable, efficient and improved garment factories and mills across Southeast Asia.

According to Tau, the US private investment firm looking to drive capital into textile and garment factories to improve their competitiveness and de-risk supply chains, the partnership establishes Gap as the first anchor brand within the investment firm's strategic network of apparel and other corporate relationships.

Tau will treat suppliers referred by Gap as a "priority for review" in its deal pipeline, while Gap will consider the investment firm's "future-transformed factories for inclusion among its preferred suppliers".

"The partnership with Tau Investment will further accelerate positive change within our supply chain," said Sonia Syngal, EVP of global supply chain at Gap.

Tau Investment CEO Oliver Niedermaier added that the partnership "enhances our shared values of worker rights and environmental standards".

Tau, which at the beginning of this year secured investment from two key partners, revealed it was moving swiftly towards its first investments in May.

It also unveiled its first transformation fund, targeting textile and apparel manufacturers in emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Cambodia and Turkey. The global fund has a target of US$1bn and will focus predominantly on Asia - with 20% of the total fund being deployed in any single country.