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Melephant gets Kering's K Generation Award

Nov '19
Pic: Kering
Pic: Kering
Melephant is the first among the three awardees of Kering’s K Generation Awards. The award was launched in December 2018 to recognise and support Chinese startups who can bring about positive environmental and social impact in alternative raw materials, green supply chain, retail and use and the circular economy. The first winner gets a € 100,000 grant.

Melephant provides natural dyes from organic waste in a circular, no-waste system. Second awardee, Heyuan has an innovative water treatment technology for printing and dyeing. Third awardee, FeiLiu Tech offers supply chain optimisation through AI that allows for small batch runs to avoid over production.

All three startups will benefit from targeted introductions to potential brand partners, industry leaders and investors; meetings with and mentorship from Kering’s members and other industry experts; and trips to Europe and the US.

From December 2018 to August 2019, under the leadership of Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs, many Chinese startups participated and put forward their own sustainable innovation projects. Fifty startups were examined in detail to arrive at the final three winners selected by a jury of leading industry figures in the fields of fashion, luxury, entrepreneurship, sustainability and innovation.

“We were looking for early-stage innovations from startups that present new solutions with the goal to reinvent the fashion industry,” said Peter Xu, executive director and CEO, Plug and Play China. “These innovations can really make a difference here in China and hopefully abroad as well”.

“The purpose of the K Generation Award is to serve as a catalyst for these startups to get exposure to other regions and support through the Kering and Plug and Play networks. During their trip to the US and Europe, which is a main feature of the K Generation Award prize, the three startups will meet with potential partners, suppliers and investors. They will also meet other innovators in Europe and the US and exchange on ideas and ways of working,” said Daveu.

Kering also held K Generation Talk which comprised a series of discussions ranging from China’s unique innovation environment to the respective merits of retro and disruptive innovations, the role of entrepreneurs in innovation, and the path towards empowering the next fashion generation were well-received by the audience.

In addition to jury members, leaders in business and sustainability including François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, Christine Goulay, Kering sustainable innovation senior manager, Li Shiyang, chief representative at Rare, Simon Chen, GM of Indidye, Yeh Shaway, founder of YehYehYeh, Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer, Plug and Play and Peter Xu, director and CEO, Plug and Play China participated in the talk.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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November 2019

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