The Good Fashion Fund was launched on September 3, spearheading systemic change in the apparel and footwear supply chain by investing in the implementation of innovative technologies in India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
Initiated by Fashion for Good, the fund is a collaborative effort between the C&A Foundation, the Hong Kong-based The Mills Fabrica, and FOUNT. The fund will be officially announced at the Hong Kong Fashion Summit by C&A Foundation Board Director Mr. Albert Brenninkmeijer and Fund Director Mr. Bob Assenberg on September 5.
With a target size of $60 million, the Good Fashion Fund is the first investment fund focused solely on driving the implementation of innovative solutions in the fashion industry.
Apparel supply chains are currently plagued by their negative environmental and social impacts. But while sustainable solutions do exist, there is a lack of capital available to scale these technologies within the supply chain. The fund was created to address this gap, connecting the most promising technologies to the industry to collaboratively tackle its challenges.
The new fund provides impact lending tools to finance investments in supply chain innovations specifically in India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, as well as other areas throughout Asia. Its blended structure combines risk-tolerant capital with private sector investment, which allows for flexibility and tailored financing to best fit each individual’s situation.
The vision for the Good Fashion Fund is for manufacturers in the apparel supply chain to invest and reinvest in innovations that deliver both economic growth and good fashion practice, mobilizing the use of safe and recyclable materials, clean and efficient energy, and closed-loop manufacturing, and the creation of fair jobs and growth, in line with the “Five Goods”: Good Energy, Good Water, Good Materials, Good Economy, and Good Lives.
Small to medium-sized manufacturers whose products or services are in line with these criteria and are looking to implement best-in-class technology and equipment will be eligible for funding. The fund is also mandated to support larger manufacturers committed to investing in highly disruptive technologies.
The Good Fashion Fund is the result of a unique collaboration. It was initiated by Fashion for Good, with the C&A Foundation and The Mills Fabrica as launching investors and is managed by impact investment firm FOUNT. Fashion for Good provides an unrivalled industry network and strong deal pipeline, as well as access to innovations and technical knowledge, while FOUNT provides ample investment and fund management expertise in emerging countries.
“Disruptive innovation is needed to shift the fashion industry from a model of ‘take-make-waste’ towards a more circular and regenerative system,” said Ms. Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good. “While the technology exists today to move forward towards circularity, it is not yet being scaled. The Good Fashion Fund provides the resources, tools, and incentives needed to bridge the innovation gap, bringing these innovations to the mainstream.”
“We all know that ‘business as usual’ will not result in the fashion industry being a true force for good. Innovation is critically needed,” said Ms. Leslie Johnston, Executive Director of the C&A Foundation. “And yet, without sufficient funding, many innovations are unable to scale. We are therefore proud to be an anchor investor in the Good Fashion Fund, which - with its high-risk appetite and focus on getting innovations into the supply chain - will address this finance gap.”