CASCADE LOCKS – Apparel recommerce specialist, The Rewnewal Workshop, which provides circular solutions for apparel and textile brands, has raised US$5.5m in Series A financing, which it will use to expand into Europe. The round was led by Social Impact Ventures, SHIFT Invest, and Quadia with participation from existing US investors Closed Loop Ventures, Gratitude Railroad, Portland Seed Fund, and High Meadows Investment Group.
The Renewal Workshop provides solutions that manage the collection, renewal, and quality of a brand’s damaged or used garments, as well as the back-end of the brand’s own recommerce site. This is aimed at allowing brands to engage directly with customers in their own branded second-sale channel. The North Face, Mara Hoffman, Prana, and Coyuchi are among existing clients.
Brand partners receive impact data on the amount of water, carbon, and chemicals that are saved through their partnership. To date, it is claimed over two hundred thousand pounds of apparel have been diverted from waste in this system.
“The Renewal Workshop has proven their circular model for renewal and recommerce can not only drive sales and customer engagement for brands but also have significant environmental impact. As investors we were drawn to this strong alignment between commerce and impact and are excited to see The Renewal Workshop scale up,” said Eske Scavenius, senior investment manager of Social Impact Ventures.
Co-founders Nicole Bassett and Jeff Denby are pioneers of brand-driven recommerce in the US, where they built the first renewal facility in 2016. Strong demand for their service in Europe meant that it was time to expand. “Over the past three years, The Renewal Workshop has helped some of the biggest brands in apparel launch renewed collections,” Bassett said. “We exist to serve brands as they transition to fully circular, zero-waste businesses, and our partnership with our existing and new values-aligned impact investors is perfectly timed to scale our operations for that mission.”
With the investment, The Renewal Workshop has opened its first European renewal facility in Amsterdam, offering their entire suite of services to European apparel brands, including circular business model strategy as well as garment and textile renewal services and recommerce management.
“Production is already underway at our Amsterdam facility, and we are thrilled to serve a strong pipeline of European brands eager to transition to circular business models,” said co-founder Jeff Denby, who will lead European operations and be based in Amsterdam. Additionally, Tamara Zwart, former European Director of Fashion+ for the Cradle-to-Cradle Institute, will serve as operations lead for Europe.