Fashion for Good selects first start-ups for South Asia

30 Jan '20
3 min read
L-R: Aamir Akhtar, Bart de Meirsman, Neelandra Singh, Katrin Ley, Lakshmi Poti, Umasankar Mahapatra, Abishek Bansal, Tejas Sampat. Pic: Fashion for Good / Umed Jadeja
L-R: Aamir Akhtar, Bart de Meirsman, Neelandra Singh, Katrin Ley, Lakshmi Poti, Umasankar Mahapatra, Abishek Bansal, Tejas Sampat. Pic: Fashion for Good / Umed Jadeja

Fashion for Good’s South Asia Innovation Programme has officially started with the selection of 9 new innovators selected by the jury members including managing director Katrin Ley. The selected innovators in the first ever South Asia Innovation Programme batch are: Alt Mat, Block Texx, Descatuk, Indra, Infinichains, JSP, PurFi, Sasmira and Textile Genesis.
With innovations in raw materials, wastewater management, dyeing solutions, textile waste solutions, blockchain, AI and machine learning innovations, the first batch of regional start-ups join a global selection of start-ups at the cutting-edge who are driving the industry’s transformation towards a circular system.
“We are staunch ambassadors of industry-wide collaboration. With the launch of our regional Programme in South Asia we strengthen our network and position us to better serve local manufacturers, key supply chain actors, brands and innovators. By connecting them to our global network and leading players in the fashion ecosystem, we help the innovators’ solutions and technologies reach scale,” said Ley.
Sixteen innovators from across the region attended the launch of the Fashion for Good South Asia Innovation Programme to pitch their innovations for the opportunity to join the Programme. The jury, consisting of members of the Fashion for Good Advisory Council including: Neelandra Singh, managing director India at adidas; Bart de Meirsman, director Sourcing at C&A; and Tejas Sampat, director of Corporate Responsibility South Asia at PVH Corp; as well as regional launch partners: Aamir Akhtar, CEO of Arvind Mills; Lakshmi Poti, programme manager Sustainable Raw Materials at Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation); and Dipali Goenka, joint managing director of Welspun Ltd, along with Ley selected the final 9 innovators from the group who will participate in the Programme.
“The Fashion for Good South Asia Innovation Programme brings together the most promising innovators whose technologies are set to transform the industry with manufacturers, like us, on the ground. The platform provides a pool of incredible talent that we can tap into and implement in our own ongoing efforts to move our supply chain towards circularity, and we are pleased to support the Programme and lead the way in sustainability,” said Goenka.
Over the next four months, the 9 innovators, will receive mentoring, bespoke coaching and support from Fashion for Good and its corporate partners, as well as access to a global network of partners and like-minded organisations, providing these innovators with the tools they need to grow. Launch Partners Arvind and Welspun will provide support for these innovators in the form of local and manufacturing expertise and the possibility to partner on pilot projects to test the viability of their innovations in real-world, manufacturing processes. 
In addition to the selection of the innovators, several keynote speakers from across the industry were invited to share their insights and guidance during the launch of the Innovation Programme. Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of global sustainable sourcing organisation Canopy provided her perspectives on impact. Bob Assenberg, director of Good Fashion Fund, which was initiated by Fashion for Good to drive the financing of innovative, industry solutions in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, addressed the audience on the topic of investment.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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