Together we can make all fashion good

With climate change on everyone’s mind, the sense of urgency to change the fashion industry for the better is building. That’s why the recent launch of global initiative Fashion for Good – located in the heart of Amsterdam – and its accelerator programme for startups in the fashion industry couldn’t have come at a better time.
This is a #fashionplatforms article and long read
(Fashion, Innovation & Sustainable platforms)

Launched on 30 March, the global Fashion for Good initiative is here to make all fashion good. Quite a tall order considering that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world – in terms of CO2 emissions. But actions speak louder than words. So, on 13 April, twelve startups selected from among 250 applicants around the world entered the three-month Plug and Play – Fashion for Good accelerator programme.

Fashion-for-Good-experience

Current exhibition in the Fashion for Good Experience in Amsterdam. Photo by Presstigieux

Mushroom skin is the new leather

The startups are all working on new technologies and business models that have the potential to change the fashion industry for the better.

Imagine funky things like mushroom skin transformed into a material for making shoes – as an alternative to leather. Or how about using recycled fluid CO2 as a solvent instead of water, potentially replacing conventional, highly polluting fibre and apparel cleaning processes. Or using nanotechnology to identify organic cotton and the conventional-to-organic mix ratio within textiles.

These are just three examples of innovations that the startups are working on.

“The accelerator is a very intensive programme that aims to fast-track the startups as businesses and speed up the new technologies or business models they are introducing,” says Isabelle Laurencin, director of the Fashion for Good accelerator. “The goal is for them to achieve in three months what would normally take one to two years.”

“The accelerator aims to fast-track the startups as businesses”

Getting support from the best

This concentrated programme is run by Fashion for Good, with support from global luxury group Kering, known for brands like Gucci, but also Adidas, PVH, Galeries Lafayette, Stella McCartney, C&A, and more.

All brands provide one-to-one mentoring while Fashion for Good offers – all from its location in the city centre of Amsterdam – workspaces and workshops on relevant topics such as material use, technology, general business support and so on.

During the programme, the startups are matched with fashion corporates. “The added value of this approach,” explains Managing Director Katrin Ley, “is that startups can leverage direct insights and guidance from the brands themselves and discuss potential opportunities to develop pilot initiatives.”

Flocus Innovator-©presstigieux-89

Becoming a hub for change

“But Fashion for Good is more than an accelerator,” stresses Katrin Ley. They also launched the Good Fashion Guide to help apparel manufacturers and brands begin their journey towards only good fashion. And over time, the aim is for the Fashion for Good building at Rokin to become a hub where startups, Fashion for Good partners, corporates, smaller businesses, consumers and other stakeholders can work, connect and get inspired to act in a more sustainable way.

At the moment, companies like the Social Apparel Coalition and ZDHC are flex-working in the building.

Exhibition

Fashion for Good has opened three floors to the public in its historic building at Rokin 102. The Fashion for Good Experience is a permanent interactive museum and tells the stories behind your clothes as well as inspires the visitors with the future of sustainable fashion. The museum aims to change the hearts and minds of the visitors and organizes events, workshops, panel discussion and many more on a monthly base. At the same time, it is a call to action for people to be part of the larger movement of Only Good Fashion.

Fashion for Good regularly organises public events, from upcycling workshops to book launches. You can check out the event programme on their website.

Mycotex credits Presstigieux-LR

This garments is part of the Fashion for good exhibition and made from a new material called MycoTex. This is a mushroom-based textile shaped on custom-fitted moulds. It is a new one-step way of producing clothing that eliminates the need for spinning yarns, weaving and other processes.

Stella McCartney x Colorifix - credits Presstigieux

This is dress of Stella McCartney is displayed at Fashion for Good’s museum in Amsterdam. It is made of organic cotton dyed with Colorfix, a pigment made from engineered microorganisms, which is produced by one of the startups supported by Fashion for Good’s Accelerator programme.

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