eBay UK launches second Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund


eBay UK

Following the launch of the Circular Fashion Fund in 2022, eBay UK has announced its £100,000 fund will return for a second year, in partnership with The British Fashion Council.

The Fund, which will offer up to six £25,000 grants to small businesses, aims to invest in and bring new technology and services to the circular economy. eBay UK’s fund spotlights businesses that focus on innovation around customer experience, circular inventory and services, and social commerce.

Environmental charity, Hubbub will also support in an advisory role. Alongside the financial support, eBay UK says finalists will receive a six-week mentoring program and industry networking opportunities.

Applications are open until Friday 20 October 2023 and start-ups and small businesses can apply via a form on eBay’s website. eBay UK says the judging criteria is focused on four assessment areas: innovation, circularity, scalability and sustainability.

The UK fashion industry is at the forefront of innovation driving to make circularity the future of fashion.

A shortlist of ten businesses will be invited to pitch to a panel of fashion and sustainability industry experts and leading organisations. Alongside eBay UK’s partners from The BFC, Hubbub and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation the panel includes Jane Shepherdson CBE, Sustainability Industry Expert, ex Whistles and Topshop; Joe Metcalf, founder of Thrift +; and Hugo Adams, CEO Kelpi Sustainable Materials.

2022 finalist Circular Inc provides circular design and sustainable manufacturing to accompany radio frequency identification (RFID)-assisted commercial repair and upcycling of clothing. Among one of the winning solutions in 2022 was a shoe that grows with a growing child’s foot and can be cleanly disassembled into component parts for recycling.

eBay’s Global GM of Fashion, Kirsty Keoghan, commented: “The UK fashion industry is at the forefront of innovation driving to make circularity the future of fashion.

“At eBay, we’ve seen first-hand that start-ups and small businesses are a significant driving force behind this ambition for change. Following the hugely successful first year of the Fund, we’re committed to identifying and scaling more UK businesses to help make the change we all want to see.”

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