Responsible has developed a circular technology solution called Buy Back that can be easily integrated into a brand’s e-commerce and physical stores. The technology is integrated at the point of purchase to inform shoppers of the residual value of the item they are about to buy. The shopper is free to wear the garment and return the product at any point in the future in exchange for credit at the Buy Back price stated at purchase.
The investment from Barclays and Techstart Ventures is said to mark the largest seed round of capital to be secured to date within the recommerce sector, giving Responsible the opportunity to make a meaningful change in the industry, the company says.
“The fashion industry manufactures billions of items every year and only 5-7% of these clothes are sold for a second time. We are enabling brands to not only become accountable for everything they produce, but also to financially benefit from a more circular and sustainable business model,” says Mark Dowds, founder and CEO of Responsible, says. “Data sources like Black Book and Glass’s Guide transformed the automotive industry, we plan to do the same in fashion.”
Andy Challis, co-head of principal investments, Barclays, adds: “Innovation in the fashion industry is critical in reducing global carbon emissions, and Barclays is delighted to support Responsible as it continues to scale and address this issue. Responsible has developed an innovative model which enables circularity in the fashion industry, partnering directly with brands to extend the life of garments and impact sector-wide change”
Responsible has launched with several partners including design-led brands RÆBURN and côte&ciel, alongside Denim brands, Kuyichi and Kings Of Indigo with more to be announced over the coming months.