"Rapid innovation is needed to revolutionise the fashion industry as we know it"

"Rapid innovation is needed to revolutionise the fashion industry as we know it"

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is inviting applications for a Virtual Accelerator programme to fast-track tech innovation for a sustainable fashion industry.

The six-week programme is for early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs with innovations in sustainable fashion based in England. The programme will run from 9 September to 14 October.

"The fast fashion industry has far reaching impacts on both people and the planet," CISL says. "It accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, depletes natural resources particularly water, uses harmful chemicals in great quantities and generates vast levels of waste and micro-plastic pollution once in use. Rapid innovation is needed to revolutionise the fashion industry as we know it. Garment production is one of the world's largest and most labour-intensive industries with estimates of 75 million people worldwide and mostly women. Crucially, the supply chain funnels more money toward modern slavery than any other industry besides tech.

"From fibre modification, to circular design principles and supply chain transparency, the CISL Accelerator is looking for early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs with tech-driven innovations that have the potential to transform the sustainability of the fashion industry."

Through the programme, innovators will explore the social and environmental challenges facing the fashion industry, learn from leading innovators driving change in the fashion industry, and build a pitch, with insight on business planning, marketing and storytelling. They will also hear from investors on the do's and don'ts for accessing start-up funding, and build a network with other innovators in sustainable fashion.

The free Accelerator programme will bring together a select cohort of innovators to help fast track their sustainability solutions. It will be delivered over six weeks of interactive online sessions, with contributors from the United Nations, the University of Cambridge and experts from the fashion, investment and tech sectors.