Fashion

A List Of 15 Best Sustainable And Tech Fashion Startups (2020)

Rebecca Hunt
by
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New fashion startups are launched every day, all over the world.

Launched by tech pioneers, most compelling ideas are supported by accelerators such as ‘Fashion for Good’, Reshape, and LVMH Innovation.

Then, when these technologies and business models start to show results, corporate partners kick in, such as the Kering Group, Adidas, Target, Zalando, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, or PVH Corp.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the top 15 most valuable startups in 2020, operating at the intersection of fashion with technology and sustainability.

Some of these fashion startups innovate in VR fashion, Augmented Reality clothing, AI, material design, and styling.

Others create new business models in retail, circular supply chains, innovative advertising and even recruitment.

Without further ado, here are the top 15 fashion startups of 2020:

15. Holition

Holition fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Johnathan Chippindale
  • Product: Digital Retail Agency
  • Website: www.holition.com

Holition is a fashion startup company embracing technology to help retailers and brands adopt and use 3D technology and augmented reality.

Holition’s latest product is what makes the company super interesting to consumers and investors alike.

Their app, called ‘Face’ enables cosmetic brands to present how products look on consumers, but without using any product.

14. Intelistyle

Intelistyle London fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Kostas Koukoravas and Michael Michelis
  • Product: Artificial Intelligence Powered Stylist Platform
  • Website: www.intelistyle.com

Intelistyle is a UK-based fashion startup that has launched an innovative app in 2017.

The app enables users to browse outfits online, and then sync or pair them with their own images.

The brand’s artificial intelligence further recommends the best outfits for any given idea.

It also works by matching online garments (from participating retailers), with the users’ physical wardrobe.

13. Snap Tech

snaptech fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Jenny Griffiths
  • Product: Visual Search
  • Website: www.snap.vision

This fashion tech startup has started as Snap Fashion.

Initially, it was a shopping platform that allowed customers to find new garments based on shape and colour.

However, the UK based fashion tech startup firm is now expanding to include comprehensive visual search.

It works by providing dedicated tools to retailers and fashion magazine publishers, that can be included on their own websites.

12. Pocket High Street

pocket high street fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Alex Schlagman
  • Product: Digital Media
  • Website: www.pockethighstreet.com

Pocket High Street was created to help small fashion retailers compete with giant e-commerce platforms.

The concept advances a quality online platform for every shopper, which allows them to explore small retailers.

Based in London, this fashion tech startup offers an open platform that connects via the internet, so small stores from all over the world could reach a wider audience, globally.

11. Genostyle

genostyle fashion startup

  • Location: NYC (New York)
  • Founder(s): Veronica Cabezas, Ricardo Cuervo
  • Product: fashion styling analytics
  • Website: www.genostyle.com

This startup aims to take on the product recommendation problem by applying machine learning to the shopping process.

Genostyle, examined 5 million products, 6.500 brands and has designed a new taxonomy to categorise them, based on 15 different of so-called “style genomes.”

The co-founder Veronica Cabezas details the “style genomes” as the glam, sporty, active, bohemian and gothic.

The customers using a style platform receive a style code that indicates the degree to which they skew away or toward each of the styles, allowing the fashion retailers to target them with personalised offers.

Genostyle can also examine the retailer’s inventory and what sells best and how the client can optimise its stock.

For example, if your fashion retailing business has 50 per cent “glam” merchandise but “glam” category accounts for only 5 per cent of your revenue, then you have a problem and Genostyle can help.

10. Smartzer

smartzer fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Karoline Gross
  • Product: Content Tagging Platform
  • Website: www.smartzer.com

Getting the return on your investment is always problematic but more so when your company features promotional video content on your websites with the idea of driving sales and not because hiring models, renting locations and shooting promotional videos is expensive.

“The secret with branded content is to obtain as much as you can out of it,” said the chief marketing officer at Halston, Suzanne Hader and this is where Smartzer, founded by Karoline Gross, can help a lot.

Smartzer is, in fact, an interactive type of digital video player that lets users click on videos to find the garments and accessories that people wear in the movies, learn more about them and eventually buy them online.

Karoline’s startup has big fashion brands in its portfolio, including Barbour, Puma and QVC, who wanted to make their videos more profitable.

The results are impressive: at least 19 times more engagement, 9 times more click-through than classic videos, and, most important, a conversion from browsing to buying rate that is five times more than the pre-roll videos, conform to Karoline Gross.

9. Same But Different (Thursday Finest)

Same But Different (Thursday Finest) fashion startup

  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Founder(s): Veronika Harbick, Michael Carlson
  • Product: Personalised 3D knitted Apparel
  • Website: www.wearesamebutdifferent.com

Custom, personalised fashion is a key trend, and Thursday Finest, in partnership with Macy’s, allows people to customise their fashion accessories.

From our list of fashion startups 2020, this company had a pop-up store in SoHo.

There, they were making men ties and knit scarves on the spot, by using 3D printers.

“Not only that we create individual designs and patterns, but we are also able to make them ready for our customers in just minutes,” said the co-founder of Thursday Finest, Veronika Harbick.

The vice president of Strategy and Innovation at Macy’s thinks that this on-site 3D Printing concept is in line with putting the customers at the centre of the decision-making:

”This is an excellent example of how the “on-demand manufacturing” is going to change the future of fashion,” said Leslie Revitt.

8. Thread

Thread London fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Ben Kucsan, Ben Phillips, Kieran O’Neill
  • Product: personal styling platform
  • Website: www.thread.com

‘Thread’ is a fashion tech startup established in 2012 with the goal of assisting men to dress better.

It works by mixing personal online stylist along with AI and big data insights.

You begin by informing the platform some of your preferences in fashion and how much you are likely to spend on clothes.

It also includes the size of the clothes you wear and some of your favoured brands and outfits you want.

The personal stylist knows about users and recommends clothing which they think would fit them.

7. Hurr Collective

Hurr Collective sustainable fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Victoria Prew and Matthew Geleta
  • Product: Peer-to-peer Wardrobe Rental Platform
  • Website: www.hurrcollective.com

Award-winning Hurr Collective is a London fashion startup.

The company offers a secure and powerful on-demand fashion platform that’s using real-time ID verification, geo-tagging and AI-powered fashion stylists.

The aim of the AI stylists is to help customers share their wardrobe in the safest, quickest, and fashion-forward way.

The platform makes renting easy while allowing customers to manage their wardrobe in a more sustainable and ethical way.

Also, it brings together like-minded entrepreneurs who can access great fashion at a fraction of the retail cost all the while making money from their own garments.

In a world where trends change faster than ever, what could be better than an unlimited online wardrobe for every one of your social occasions?

6. The Fabricant

The Fabricant digital fashion startup

  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Founder(s): Kerry Murphy
  • Product: Digital Fashion House
  • Website: www.thefabricant.com

The Fabricant is a digital fashion house leading the fashion industry towards a new sector of digital-only clothing – wasting nothing but data and exploiting nothing but imagination.

The Fabricant specialises in photo-real 3D fashion design and animation which can be used in digital fashion editorial

5. LoveCrafts

Lovecrafts fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Nigel Whiteoak, Cherry Freeman, Edward Griffith
  • Product: Social Marketplaces For Crafting
  • Website: www.lovecrafts.com

LoveCrafts, a start-up which builds social marketplaces for the crafts sector.

It now intends to use the capital to fuel new product development, overseas growth and the launch of its new marketplace LoveCrochet which will go live next month with further craft communities planned for later in the year.

Craft marketplace LoveCrafts is a “world designed for makers”.

Those less inclined to shop for the clothes they wear can find the knitting, sewing and crocheting products they need to get started with making.

4. Wardrobe of Tomorrow

Wardrobe of Tomorrow sustainable fashion startups

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Laurenti Arnault, Ru Amiri
  • Product: Sustainable Fashion Marketplace
  • Website: www.wardrobeoftomorrow.com

Wardrobe of Tomorrow is a highly-curated marketplace dedicated exclusively to sustainable fashion designers from all over the world.

Cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable, ethical, the marketplace holds only designers that care about people, animals and the planet.

Moreover, the marketplace is working on introducing a parallel circular business model by allowing customers to re-sell, rent, or swap their garments.

3. Reflaunt

Reflaunt fashion startup

  • Location: Singapore
  • Founder(s): Stephanie Crespin
  • Product: Resell Service
  • Website: www.reflaunt.com

Ever wanted to keep your customers engaged for longer by bringing the second-hand and resale market in-house?

Reflaunt gives luxury brands a slick and intuitive platform to own the growing secondary market, increasing engagement, revenue and reducing environmental impact.

Based in Singapore and London, Reflaunt is showing heritage brands that it’s not too late to go circular and giving them the tools to do it.

2. Lyst

Lyst fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Sebastjan Trepca, Devin Hunt, Chris Morton
  • Product: Fashion Search Engine
  • Website: www.lyst.com

People’s unique tastes and desire for more choice are fulfilled by Lyst – a personalised fashion marketplace.

It lets you search thousands of online fashion stores at once, bringing together 5 million products from 12,000 brands and retailers.

1. Depop

Depop circular fashion startup

  • Location: London
  • Founder(s): Simon Beckerman
  • Product: Peer-to-peer Social Shopping App
  • Website: www.depop.com

Born from a social network, Depop is now a trusted marketplace for over 10million users buying, selling and exploring unique fashion, trends and accessories.

This community of creatives, influencers, sellers and consumers (much like the team itself) is changing the face of retail and already a worldwide phenomenon.

Peer-to-peer selling platform Depop lets creatives buy and sell unique and stylish things online.

Ever-popular with micro-influencers and small business sellers, Depop serves as a marketplace for seeing what people are liking, buying and selling.

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