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Circular Changemakers programme showcased at LFW 2019

Aug '19
Jaspreet Chandok, VP & Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance; Vineet Rai, CEO & Managing Director at Aavishkaar venture management; Pic: RIL
Jaspreet Chandok, VP & Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance; Vineet Rai, CEO & Managing Director at Aavishkaar venture management; Pic: RIL
Circular Changemakers, India's first investment readiness programme for circular fashion startups, was launched recently at The Studio during Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2019. At the programme, startups presented their scalable, post-prototype and revenue-generating solutions, which provided renewable inputs to the textile and apparel industry.

The programme was created by Intellecap's Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) in partnership with Circular Design Challenge (CDC), which is a Fashion For Earth initiative by Reliance Industries Limited's (RIL) polyester brand R|Elan, LFW and UN Environment.

Six start-ups were shortlisted in the programme. The finalists were chosen by IMG Reliance and CAIF's Selection Committee through a scoring criteria, due diligence as well as inputs from strategic investors who were part of the jury. The changemakers pitched their business models to an eminent investor panel on the August 22, Sustainable Fashion Day of LFW Winter/Festive 2019.

The shortlisted changemakers underwent a rigorous bootcamp by CAIF which focused on three modules ‘Capital Raising’, ‘Business & Financial Modelling’ and ‘Investor Pitch Preparation’. The bootcamp also provided mentoring in the sustainable and circular fashion space. Through the bootcamp and the showcase, the Changemakers got the opportunity to receive strategic investments and partnerships through their pitch to a group of potential strategic investors from reputed impact investment funds.

Opening the session was a short Q&A moderated by Stefanie Bauer, director, CAIF, who spoke to Renata Lok Dessallien, resident coordinator for the UN in India and Vineet Rai founder & chairman, Aavishkaar Group on their thoughts and vision on the subject of environment, start-ups, financing as well as the fashion industry and how discussions like this could benefit all the stakeholders.

Many presenters made interesting presentations at the programme. Among them were Ganesh Subramanian, founder and CEO, Stylumia Intelligence Technology Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru. Stylumia is first of its kind ecosystem of Software as a Service (SaaS) products for the fashion and apparel industry. Driven by its 'Demand-Sensing' that uses big data at internet scale to decode the consumer demand, Stylumia thrives to remove uncertainties from fashion brands and businesses to enable sustainable use of resources.

The second presenter was Fidal Kumar, co-founder, JSP Enviro Pvt Ltd, Chennai. JSP Enviro is an enterprise with revolutionary process based innovation focused on water conservation/treatment and energy efficiency. Its innovation is a water effluent treatment technology that can generate electricity form textile effluents and treat the water for reuse.

Kristin Kagetsu, co-founder, Saathi Eco Innvoations, Ahmedabad was the third presenter. Saathi Eco Innvoations is an enterprise that has developed a single platform technology to process natural fibre into highly absorbent pulp that has multiple use-cases. Its first product is 100 per cent bio-degradable and compostable sanitary pads that are made from banana fibre, one of the most absorbent natural fibres.

Shikha Shah and Shreyans Kokra, co-founders, Canve Fibre Labs, Ahmedabad, were the fourth presenters. The company is an alternative fibre and material science company. Through its technology Canve Fibre Labs converts agriculture waste into textile fibres that have better performance characteristics than other textiles.

Shriyans Bhandari, CEO and co-founder, Greensole Footwear, Navi Mumbai was the fifth presenter. The company is an innovative social venture that has developed a process to recycle discarded shoes to comfortable footwear. It also creates social impact by providing a portion of these recycled shoes to children in need.

The jury comprised strategic investors who are experts from across fields - Priyanka Khanna, lead - international expansion, Fashion for Good; Kartik Desai, executive director, Asha Impact; Divya Gupta, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services; Erik Karlsson, head of H&M Co:Lab; Manasi Kirloskar – UN in India Young Business Champion for SDGs; and Radhika Nath – executive director, Mahindra Retail; Renata Lok Dessallien, resident coordinator of the UN in India.

"This is the first edition of the Circular Changemakers programme which aims to evolve mindsets, create conversations and support circular fashion enterprises through strategic collaborations and investments. We have seen innovative prototypes ranging from alternative fibres and building efficiency in waste management to using big data to decode consumer demand of fashion. We’re extremely excited for our Changemakers to pitch their models which will help them build their prototypes into sustainable solutions," said Jaspreet Chandok, vice president and head of fashion at IMG Reliance.

"The enterprises showcased at Lakmé Fashion Week highlight the variety of innovations that are emerging in India in the sustainable fashion space – from fibres to end-of-use and recycling solutions, all with the potential to make a difference in India's textile and apparel industry. We are excited to see such a positive response in the industry to join this first ever investor showcase, and are committed to organise more such events in the future that bring the ecosystem together on one platform," said Bauer-Vemuri.

Lakmé Fashion Week is jointly organised by Lakmé, the No 1 cosmetics and beauty services brand in India and IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd, leaders in sports, fashion and entertainment marketing and management.

Intellecap, supported by the DOEN Foundation, with Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail as its first corporate anchor partner, launched the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) in 2018. CAIF is an initiative that brings together a variety of stakeholders in the apparel industry in India to shift the industry from its current 'take-make-dispose' approach, to one that is more circular across the lifecycle. (PC)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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