Belfast start-up Responsible raises cash to power fashion finance platform
Re-commerce start-up Responsible has raised €5.8 million to develop its “pioneering embedded finance platform” for the fashion industry.
With funding led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and Techstart Ventures, London- and Belfast-based Responsible will use the new capital to expand its reach across Europe, establishing an EU presence early this year, EU-Startups reports.
Founded last year by Mark Dowds and Mitch Doust, Responsible “endeavours to solve fashion’s sustainability problem with an innovative take on re-commerce that will open the category to end-customers and brands alike”.
The business says it has developed a technology solution called ‘Buy Back’ that can be integrated into a brand’s e-commerce and physical stores. This technology is integrated at the point of purchase to inform shoppers of the residual value of the item they are about to buy. The shopper is free to wear the garment and return the product at any point in exchange for credit at the Buy Back price stated at purchase.
The plug-in is currently available within the Shopify ecosystem, and will soon support other e-commerce platforms.
“The solution is paving the way for brands to keep products in circulation as well as providing the infrastructure and operational capability to ensure this remains a seamless and low-touch way for brands to embrace a circular future”, Responsible said.
Co-founder and CEO Dowds added: “The fashion industry manufactures billions of items every year and only 5%-7% of these clothes are sold for a second time.
“We are enabling brands to not only become accountable for everything they produce, but also to financially benefit from a more circular and sustainable business model. Data sources like Black Book and Glass’s Guide transformed the automotive industry, we plan to do the same in fashion.”
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