The second edition of the Circular Changemakers which started in 2019, was presented this season by Intellecap’s Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) in partnership with Circular Design Challenge an initiative of Reliance Industries Ltd.’s R|Elan ‘Fashion for Earth’, United Nations Environment Programme and Lakmé Fashion Week. The programme featured six finalists on Day 2 of Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition.
The finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of esteemed investors and strategic partner panel that comprised Ms. Disha Gandhi, Associate Director, Aavishkaar Capital, Ms. Marieke Lenders, Head – Reweave Program, Enviu, Mr. Vineet Gautam, CEO, Bestseller India and Ms. Pinar Ademoglu, Investment Director, Sagana Capital.
Before their final presentations, the 6 finalists underwent a rigorous bootcamp by CAIF on three modules, viz Capital Raising, Business and Financial Modelling and Investor Pitch Preparation.
Darshana Gajare, Lead Sustainable Fashion at IMG Reliance, said, “This year we had a very promising cohort of enterprises doing some incredible work across the value chain. Our vision for the Circular Changemakers platform is to enable strategic partnerships, through the online bootcamp curated by CAIF; we can already see great synergies for these start-ups to work together.”
Vikas Bali, CEO, Intellecap, said, “We are very pleased with the quality of enterprises in our cohort for the second edition of the Circular Changemakers Program based on their impressive work across the textile and apparel value chain. This program is a great example of a platform that can provide both the much-needed investment support as well as facilitate strategic collaborations for innovators with circular solutions to help them scale.”
The six finalists pitched their plans aimed at different segments of the value chain and presented their efforts to make fashion truly circular.
InfiniChains® a leading Blockchain-based technology company that helps brands that are deeply engaged with their users and build a lasting trust through transparency; informed that they were building a pilot with Pratibha Syntex for the application of blockchain in supply chain transparency in the apparel and textile industry.
Phabio a company that creates PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoates) pellets from organic waste and/or by-products, informed that they had created a sustainable loop that creates plastic, which comes from nature and goes back to nature. Phabio claimed to be on course to become the first PHA producing facility in India and to bring the manufacturing cost of pellets down to the price of traditional polymers.
Twirl.store had a mission to reduce cloth wastage, ensure women empowerment, conserve natural resources, and meet the clothing needs of the poor. Twirl.store was perhaps the only Indian platform that offers a distinct buy-back policy for all clothing bought from the store.
Desi Hangover presented its vision to turn into a global sustainable conscious fashion brand that elevated underserved communities by using the forces of capitalism for good. Their mission was to develop rural craft clusters through social innovation, ensuring secure and sustainable livelihood for artisans in India.
Paiwand’s vision was to design for circularity and longevity by producing authentic up-cycled fabrics and apparel by creating employment opportunities for handloom weavers, artisans, and unskilled/semiskilled workers. In 20 months, Paiwand has upcycled 700 kgs of waste from designers and was still left with 2,000 kgs of waste to add value to. The brand’s mission was to repurpose 40,000 kgs of textile waste by 2023.
Bigthinx was an AI company operating in the $2.5 trillion fashion and retail industry, which offered 3D mobile body scanning, clothing size predictions, virtual avatars, digital clothing and virtual fashion shows to address problems of clothing fit and look, e-commerce returns, and human body data. These avatars, the brand stated could be used to visualise clothing look and fit, to solve an additional 30 per cent of the reason for clothing returns.