Digital platform helps suppliers to reach fashion brands worldwide

Whilst the fashion industry sets the latest trends on the catwalk, it lags behind in terms of sustainability and process efficiency. In fact, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. A radical change across the value chain is needed to make fashion more sustainable.

Swedish tech company Material Exchange drives that much needed sustainable transformation by creating transparency and improving communication between brands, material suppliers and manufacturers.

Streamlined supply chains are supposed to reduce material waste, and a new startup by Material Exchange aims to change the way the fashion industry interacts with materials. Startup accelerates with €5m funding.

Together with billion-dollar computer software corporation Plugin76, the duo aims to reduce the need for physical samples, material wastage, and therefore supporting a more sustainable future. Founded in Stockholm, the startup works directly with the world’s leading retail apparel and footwear brands to analyse, optimise and digitise their material sourcing and development processes, writes Springwise.

Norrsken VC, Europe’s largest impact tech fund, and Partech already financed the company last year, Day One and Lyra Ventures also have joined recently as new investors.
Already three years ago researchers from University of the Arts London provided insights on major trends of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, identifying its impacts on the textile and apparel industry. Fashion companies have been at the very centre of mass-production dynamics, transforming and reacting to impacts that technological innovation combined with globalization processes have produced. It often over-exploited the mass-production model without considering the medium-long term effects of its complex and globalized operations, impacting many times with high environmental costs.

With fashion brands forced to find new ways to source materials and manage relationships with suppliers in a digital environment, the pandemic presents a unique opportunity. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the industry and companies like Material exchange can’t afford to lose momentum. They fundraise in order to seize the opportunity.
Material Exchange launched its platform just over a year ago and today already works with almost 400 suppliers and 50 brands globally. They have standardized the necessary data to help suppliers categorize, digitize and share their materials with the world’s largest footwear and apparel brands.

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