French sustainability start-up Fairly Made raises five million euros
"I've seen customers react when they see the number of kilometres a pair of jeans has travelled on the label. They really start thinking. I believe that there is a real awareness in our sector, with an impact on the act of buying." Last Thursday, in front of the BIG audience, the major entrepreneurial event of the year in Paris, Isabelle Guichot, CEO of SMCP, hammered home her conviction that a more virtuous transformation of the fashion industry would require a better knowledge and optimisation of the supply chain. "Traceability is a path that we will not go back on. We are at 30% of our references traced. And we will be at 100% in two years for the group's brands," she said.
The giant of accessible fashion, owner of the brands Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and Fursac, has indeed started this work last year. It will be moving forward with the French start-up Fairly Made.
The start-up, founded in 2018 by Laure Betsch and Camille Le Gal, based in the trendy La Caserne in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, has just raised five million euros. The founders, who remain majority shareholders, have completed their first round of financing led by the ETF Capital fund (for Environmental Technology Fund), in which Le Fonds by French Founders, another fund, is also involved.
ETF Capital, which is based in London and has been active since 2006, has a mantra of "sustainability through innovation" and invests in companies in the fields of responsible consumption, such as eLeather and the French company Phenix, as well as soft mobility and energy transition.
For the young company, which benefits from the urgency felt by the fashion sector due to the implementation of increasingly important regulations, concerning the textile industry and production, this financial contribution should enable it to strengthen its teams and to deploy on new markets.
"We were quickly convinced that the ETF fund, with its values focused on a responsible transformation of the industry, matched our vision," explained Laure Betsch to FashionNetwork.com. "They will also bring us their experience and their network. This fundraising should allow us to strengthen our presence on the French market, but also to accelerate our growth at the European level. There is a lot to be done to support the sector in the face of new regulations. We have started to work with Italian players and there is a European leadership position to build. And we are looking at other markets, particularly in the United States where regulations are also changing."
The company has been growing rapidly in recent months, particularly seeing as from January 1 2023, brands with a turnover of more than €50 million will be required to communicate to consumers the traceability of their supply chain, the presence of plastic microfibres and recycled materials in their products, as well as the level of recyclability.
"The fashion industry is in desperate need of sustainable solutions," says the ETF team in a statement. "We believe that Laure and Camille, along with the entire Fairly Made team, can have a significant and tangible impact on the industry. Our support and investment will enable Fairly Made to begin a new chapter in its history to make their solution a global pioneer."
The start-up, whose clients include LVMH, Asphalte, Balzac Paris, Ba&sh, Des Petits Hauts and Mr Moustache, wants to attract other labels with its SaaS platform, which enables brands to map their supply chains. By collecting impact data, brands can then select it and make it visible to consumers via an online application or QRs printed on labels.
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