THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP RAISES SERIES A TO SCALE CIRCULAR ECONOMY SOLUTIONS FOR FASHION BRANDS: $5.5M investment for expansion to Europe and tripling US operations

December 13, 2019

The Renewal Workshop, the leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands, is announcing a $5.5M Series A financing round and expansion into Europe. The round is led by European venture capital and impact investors 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 apparel industry’s take-make-waste cycle is turning circular with the spectacular rise of recommerce. This is changing the game for brands who see their products resold on third-party sites. The Renewal Workshop enables brands to be a driving force in this transition, with a complete solution that not only manages the collection, renewal, and quality of a brand's damaged or used garments, but also the back-end of the brand’s own recommerce site. This allows brands to engage directly with customers in their own branded second-sale channel.

The Renewal Workshop operates a zero-waste circular system that recovers the full value out of what has already been produced. Brand partners receive impact data on the amount of water, carbon, and chemicals that are saved through their partnership. To date, 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," says Eske Scavenius, Senior Investment Manager of Social Impact Ventures.

Co-founders Jeff Denby & Nicole Bassett are pioneers of brand-driven recommerce in the US, where they built the first renewal facility in 2016. With that facility now at capacity and very strong demand for their service in Europe it was high time to expand. “Over the past three years, The Renewal Workshop has helped some of the biggest brands in apparel launch renewed collections,” Bassett proudly states. “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 opened the first European renewal facility in Amsterdam. Here they offer the entire suite of services to European apparel brands, from circular business model strategy to 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,” says 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.  With co-founder Nicole Bassett leading US operations, the company continues to expand in Cascade Locks, Oregon, to serve its US-based brand partners such as The North Face, Mara Hoffman, Prana, Coyuchi, and many other forward-thinking brands.

As investor Florentine Fockema Andreae, Partner at SHIFT Invest, sums it up, “Today, over 70% of all clothes produced are landfilled or incinerated after use. If we want to contribute to a more circular and regenerative textile sector, we need to not only close the loop but also extend the average number of times a garment is worn. The Renewal Workshop brings an inclusive, efficient solution to help large fashion brands achieve this goal.”

 

Contact

US: Nicole Bassett - nicole.bassett@therenewalworkshop.com

EU: Jeff Denby - jeff.denby@therenewalworkshop.com

 

About The Renewal Workshop

The Renewal Workshop is the leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. We are helping brands reduce their negative environmental impacts and expand their businesses by adopting circular practices. We offer Apparel and Textile Renewal, Sales Channel Management for Renewed Products, Circular Mapping, Data Collection and Textile Recycling R&D. Our proprietary Renewal System takes discarded apparel and textiles and turns them into Renewed Products, upcycling materials or feedstock for recycling. We track data on everything that flows through the system offering comprehensive insights never before available on products lifetime value and impact. The Renewal Workshop operates a zero-waste circular system that recovers value out of what has already been created as a way of serving customers, partners, and planet.

For more information, visit www.renewalworkshop.com

About Social Impact Ventures

The Dutch investment fund Social Impact Ventures (Social IV) invests in fast growing, ambitious social enterprises who have a financially sound business model and who create a positive and measurable impact. Social IV offers growth capital and active venture assistance across three impact themes: Circular Systems, Healthy Living & People Power. To date the fund has invested in 12 ventures. 

For more information: www.socialimpactventures.nl

About SHIFT Invest

SHIFT Invest is a Dutch impact venture capital fund that invests in innovations related to agriculture, food, green & circular technologies. Through its investments, SHIFT strives to achieve material, measurable impact on the environment or health, in addition to financial returns. Together with its partners, SHIFT offers entrepreneurs a broad network and knowledge of varies sector. SHIFT is managed by New Balance Impact Investors, experienced investment professionals and entrepreneurs.  

For more information, visit: www.shiftinvest.com

About Quadia

Founded in 2010, Quadia specializes in direct impact investments, though equity, debt and funds. In line with its mission «we finance the solutions for a regenerative economy», Quadia targets companies which have positioned their strategic development on products and service that contribute to a regenerative economy. These transformative companies operate in the areas of clean energy, sustainable food and circular products & materials. Since its creation, Quadia has financed over 40 companies, projects and investment funds for the equivalent of EUR 200 million. Quadia is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, visit www.quadia.ch

 


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