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AMSTERDAM – Five initiatives aimed at closing the loop in the apparel sector have been given a €1.29m funding boost by the C&A Foundation. The pilot initiatives have been selected as part of a request for proposals to bridge the gap in the implementation of circular business models in the global apparel value chain. The Bridging the Gap’s partners will receive a combined €1.29m.

Douwe Jan Joustra, head of circular transformation, C&A Foundation, said: “We believe the circular fashion revolution will only happen when we implement circular business models. We are pleased to be supporting these five new partners. The critical practise-based insights they develop and share will bring the industry a significant step towards these new models, moving the discourse on circular fashion from words to action.”

Funding recipients include:

• Creative Circular Economy Business Models: London Waste and Recycling Board and QSA Partners: This London-based initiative will provide one-to-one support to four retailers and lead each company through a process for developing circular business models. Three retailers will then pilot a circular business model by the end of 2020 and commit to permanently bringing these offers to market by May 2021.
• The Circular Activation Project: Circle Economy: This Europe-based initiative will uncover the operational barriers to circularity and build a circular innovation process to be piloted by six brands or retailers by October 2020. A multidisciplinary team will guide brands through the process, increasing their capacity to overcome barriers towards implementation of re-commerce and renting/leasing circular business models.
• Circular Leap Asia Programme: Forum for the Future: This initiative will support the uptake of circular business models in Asia by developing six new types of partnerships between upstream and downstream companies in apparel.
• Market Makers: World Resources Institute and WRAP: This initiative will challenge the status quo by demonstrating the market demand for clothing reuse models in over 20 major apparel brands in the USA, UK and India. It will assess consumer demand, pilot innovative business models, provide a common approach to impact assessment, and identify policies, regulations and incentives that increase clothing reutilisation in each geographic location.
• Love Every Fibre of Your Being: Made-By and Global Action Plan: In this initiative, brand executives from British based retailers and young women will come together through workshops and panels to co-create prototype business offerings and brand messaging for circular business models that aim to improve the mental well-being of young women. The best ideas will be shared with the public around a popular fashion event such as London Fashion Week.

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