Working with the British Fashion Council, eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund aims to support “forward-thinking solutions” to grow the circular economy.
Six businesses or charities will receive a grant to invest in new technology and services, with a focus on customer experience, circular inventory and social commerce. Successful applicants will also receive six weeks of mentoring support, networking opportunities and a platform for showcasing their work.
This will be the second time the two organisations have offered the fund, with the scheme receiving more than 500 applications last year. Environment charity Hubbub will also provide advisory support alongside the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Applications will close on 20 October, after this time a shortlist of ten businesses will be invited to pitch their plan to a panel of fashion and sustainability experts.
eBay’s global general manager of fashion, Kirsty Keoghan, says: “The UK fashion industry is at the forefront of innovation driving to make circularity the future of fashion. At eBay, we’ve seen first-hand that start-ups and small businesses are a significant driving force behind this ambition for change. Following the hugely successful first year of the Fund, we’re committed to identifying and scaling more UK businesses to help make the change we all want to see.”
Sustainable children’s shoe brand Pip and Henry was one of last year’s winners, with a shoe that grows with a growing child’s foot and can be cleanly disassembled into component parts for recycling.
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Speaking on the impact of the Fund, Pip and Henry founder and CEO Jeroo Doodhmal says: “Winning the eBay Circular Fashion Fund has been fantastic at many levels – from getting to meet the other winners through to being mentored by eBay execs and their partners (like Hubbub and the British Fashion Council). The entire experience was very positive and collaborative and has inspired ideas and partnerships that will thrive long after the receipt of the award.’’
The news comes shortly after the UK government shared plans to promote and increase fashion and textile repair, reuse, and recycling efforts in pursuit of its goal to achieve a circular economy approach.
The UK Fashion & Textile Association and the British Fashion Council have also been named as co-chairs of a new government-funded circular fashion programme, which aims to facilitate and lead the development of a circular fashion ecosystem within the UK.