12 unconventional fashion tech startups transforming the industry in 2018

12 unconventional fashion tech startups transforming the industry in 2018

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There are many startups that intend to transform the fashion industry. These unconventional fashion tech startups work towards bringing a circular economy in the fashion industry. And, Fashion for Good – Plug and Play Accelerator Programme aims at bringing them together.

The platform is an open invitation to the whole apparel industry that collaborates the brands, suppliers, retailers, producers, non-profit organizations, funder and innovators into a community.

Fashion for Good – Plug and Play Accelerator was founded in 2017 and is backed by C&A Foundation. It is run in collaboration with corporate partners such as adidas, PVH Corp, Kering, Zalando, Galaeries Lafayette and Target. The Accelerator Program is part of the innovation platform that includes a Scaling Programme and the Good Fashion Fund. All these brands have combined to come up with scalable innovations to achieve the transition to a circular fashion industry.

Accelerator Programme’s 4th Edition

From its hub in Amsterdam, Fashion for Good – Plug and Play Accelerator supports startups in the apparel industry. It has a co-working space and open-source resources such as Good Fashion Guide. Visitors are welcome to experience before they join the collective movement. In October 2018, the Experience will be reopened as the first interactive tech museum in the world dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation.

For the fourth edition, Plug and Play Accelerator has carefully selected twelve startups out of hundreds of applicants from around the world and includes 3 continents and 8 nationalities. These startups represent varied supply chain areas and focus on new business models. For the next twelve weeks, the mentors and partners of the Accelerator will drive the market validation of the startups.

Here are the 12 startups selected for the fourth edition of Fashion for Good – Plug and Play Accelerator Programme. Take a look!

#1 &Wider

&Wider founded in 2014 by Lea Esterhuizen has created a cloud platform that lets buyers and employers hear about the everyday lives of workers and the working conditions directly from themselves. The startup uses cost-effective diagnostic tools such as mobile phones to track and encourage improvement in the supply chain labor practices.

#2 Algalife

Algalife is a startup that creates dyes and fibres from algae microorganisms. The textiles from this startup release anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals so that our body and skin is protect and nourished. Not only that, the bio-based dyes and fibres will leave a better environmental footprint as opposed to the conventional manufacturing and dyeing processes.

#3 The Excess Materials Exchange (EME)

Founded by Maayke Aimee Damen and Christian van Maaren, this is a digital marketplace for companies to exchange excess materials and products with each other. EME matches materials using the highest value reuse option and let the involved companies turn their waste products and materials into wealth. In addition to this, EME also helps in the companies combat the unnecessary landfill, incineration and overproduction effectively.


GIBBON is a rental marketplace that matches excess inventory from both brands and retailers to travelers letting them achieve a luggage-less travel. Eventually, the startup prevents travelers from having to purchase temporary clothing in order to involve in seasonable sport activities or visit alternative climates.

#5 Green Whisper

Green Whisper is a startup that intends to create sustainable products out of agriculture residue for daily use. The startup specializes in banana fibre products such as banana paper and banana fibre textile. This way, the agriculture residue gets a second life, which is valuable and this helps avoiding environmental impacts due to the use of raw material.


NOWNER developed an online platform that lets brands run their own renting platforms for customers. This way, the brands can create a circular system in the garment industry that let them manage the online platform, deliveries and returns and repairing of garments. The startup aims to develop a network of pioneering brands those are committed to achieve a circular economy in the textile industry.

#7 Reflaunt

Reflaunt is a startup that bridges first-hand and second-hand markets. With this platform, the startup lets high-end brands give their customers an option to resell, donate or recycle their wardrobes. And, the brands can control and benefit from the second-hand system.

#8 reGAIN

reGAIN app founded by Jack Ostrowski is the first digital, multi-brand takeback program that rewards recycling. Using this app, consumers can pack their unwanted clothing and ship them directly to regain. Doing so, consumers can earn discount coupons that can be used online or in store. This recycling app is aimed at combating the textile waste that gets piled up in the landfills.

#9 Save your wardrobe

Founded in 2016 by Hasna Kourda and Mehdi Doghri, Save your wardrobe app lets users build a digital wardrobe by uploading their online purchases and existing products instantly. The app includes outfit recommendations, alteration, dry cleaning, selling and donating pointers that let users understand and manage their closets and use what they already own.

#10 Stuffstr

Stuffstr was founded in 2014 by John Atcheson and Steve Gutmannlets. The users of the startup capture the value of their used stuff irrespective of its condition. In partnership with fashion retailers, this startup lets users sell unwanted products and updates consumers on the current resale value of their items.

#11 TrusTrace

TrusTrace was founded in 2016 to help brands define a clear plan to establish product-level traceability. The startup provides a scalable digital platform for brands to measure, monitor and communicate various activities in the supply chain right from the origin of the raw material to the consumption and recycling of the final product. This lets them assess the sustainability footprint at every stage.

#12 The Vienna Textile Lab

Karin Fleck founded The Vienna Textile Lab, which turns bacteria into colour. At The Vienna Textile Lab, they fabricate organic dyes from bacteria that are naturally occurring to provide a sustainable alternative to the use of the conventional synthetic colours. Notably, the natural and organic dye sourcing process is resource-efficient and the dye emits less carbon.

Graduation of the startups is slated for November 29, 2018 at the Fashion for Good hub in Amsterdam. At the graduation, these startups will showcase their innovations to an audience comprising industry leaders and investors.

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

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