Barclays leads a $6.6M Seed Round in RESPONSIBLE, a company driving circularity in the fashion industry
Barclays has joined together with fellow investors Techstart Ventures, Rafał Brzoska, and Sarah Friar in a $6.6 million Seed Round of investment capital in RESPONSIBLE, creators of the world’s first embedded finance platform in fashion.
This round of funding will be used to expand RESPONSIBLE’s reach throughout Europe and extend its network of brand partnerships. This marks the largest seed round of capital to be secured to date within the reCommerce sector, giving RESPONSIBLE the opportunity to make a meaningful change in the industry.
Andy Challis, co-Head of Principal Investments, Barclays, said: “Innovation in the fashion industry is critical in reducing global carbon emissions, and Barclays is delighted to support RESPONSIBLE as it continues to scale and address this issue. RESPONSIBLE has developed an innovative model which enables circularity in the fashion industry, partnering directly with brands to extend the life of garments and impact sector-wide change”
RESPONSIBLE have developed a technology solution called Buy Back that can be easily integrated into a brand’s eCommerce and physical stores. The 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 the future in exchange for credit at the Buy Back price stated at purchase. The Buy Back plugin is immediately available within the Shopify eco-system and will soon support other eCommerce Platforms. Not only does RESPONSIBLE provide their technology to fashion brands to keep products in circulation, but they also provide the infrastructure and operational capability to ensure this remains a seamless and low-touch way for brands to embrace a circular future.
Mark Dowds, Founder and CEO, RESPONSIBLE said: “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.”
RESPONSIBLE have launched with several partners including design-led brands RÆBURN and côte&ciel, alongside pioneering Denim brands, Kuyichi and Kings Of Indigo with more to be announced over the coming months. Some of these brand products are now available on RESPONSIBLE’s resale platform, www.responsible.us
RESPONSIBLE is a technology company that exists to fight for a circular future. Founded in 2021 by Irish entrepreneur, Mark Dowds and Australian, Mitch Doust, the company is on a mission to help solve fashion’s sustainability problem with a new premium take on reCommerce that will open the category to end-customers and brands alike. Key to this is partnering with some of the world’s leading brands through the Buy Back loyalty program to make resell work for brands and ensure the public get high-quality verified product.
RESPONSIBLE operates in the UK from its Belfast and London offices with plans to establish an EU presence early in 2022.
About Barclays Sustainable Investment Fund: As part of the firm’s broader commitments, Barclays will invest £175m of its own capital, led by the Principal Investments team, in fast-growing, innovative, environmentally-focused companies whose values are aligned with those of Barclays and which target the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. Investments will be strategic to Barclays, its clients and the communities it serves, with clear scalable propositions that deliver both environmental benefits and economic returns.
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