The Fashion for Good South Asia Innovation Programme will officially start in January 2020
Innovations ranging from blockchain traceability solutions to using machine learning to reduce waste in the production and fitting stage of the supply chain, were among those pitched at the first Innovation Day held by Fashion for Good in South Asia.
Industry stakeholders, investors, brands and manufacturers attended the event in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which saw ten innovators pitch their sustainable solutions to a jury of key industry leaders from the region. As well as blockchain and waste reduction, their ideas also covered materials, dyeing and energy usage.
The ten innovators pitched their solutions to jury members Madu Rathnayake, CIO of Virtusa, and Prajeeth Balasubramanium, founder of BOV Capital.
Those invited to join the Fashion for Good Innovation Programme will gain priority access to a network including founding partner C&A Foundation, and corporate partners Adidas, C&A, Chanel, Bestseller, Galeries Lafayette Group, Kering, Otto Group, PVH Corp, Stella McCartney, Target and Zalando. They will also receive funding, mentoring and bespoke coaching to grow their ideas.
The event also saw the announcement of the official partnership between Fashion for Good, a global initiative trying to make fashion more sustainable, and home textile manufacturer Welspun. The firm joins as an affiliate innovation partner to provide support in its local activities.
The Innovation Day follows the launch of the new Good Fashion Fund, which will finance investments in supply chain innovations in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam so that manufacturers can improve their environmental and social impacts.
“With a rich heritage in textile manufacturing and production, South Asia presents significant opportunities to create value and impact, both socially and environmentally,” Fashion for Good says.
The initiative is seeking to “spark and scale” promising innovations, catalysing collaborative pilots such as the recently concluded Organic Cotton Traceability Pilot, which combines on-product markers and blockchain technology to trace organic cotton from farm to consumer.