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21 June 2019, Mumbai: IMG Reliance developed and successfully launched the Circular Design Challenge (CDC), an initiative by R Elan’s ‘Fashion For Earth’, Lakmé Fashion Week and UN Environment, last year. CDC is India’s first and largest sustainability award in fashion which was launched with support from Intellecap’s Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) – an industry-led platform with the mission to strengthen capabilities and build the ecosystem needed to transition to a circular textile & apparel industry in India. Building on this partnership, CAIF is now working with CDC to create a program to showcase innovations and solutions for a circular economy across the textile & apparel value chain and introduces ‘Circular Changemakers’.

The program welcomes applications from start-ups across the country, offering scalable, post-prototype and revenue-generating solutions. Their contribution to the textile and apparel industry must be less harmful and provide renewable inputs.

From the pool of applications, six start-ups – ‘changemakers’ – will be chosen to participate in a bootcamp by industry experts. The 3 module bootcamp focuses on providing visibility to change-makers in the sustainable and circular fashion space, exposing them to important aspects of ‘Capital Raising’, ‘Business & Financial Modelling’ and ‘Investor Pitch Preparation’

Following the bootcamp, enterprises will pitch their value proposition and business model to a panel of investors on the 22nd August that is the Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019. They will get the opportunity to receive strategic investments and partnerships through their pitch to a group of potential strategic investors from reputed impact investment funds such as Aavishkaar Venture Management Sevices, innovation platforms such as Fashion for Good, foundations, industry associations etc. The pitch event will be followed by a networking session with key industry stakeholders such as brands, manufacturers, and others.

Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance said, “This program will focus on strategic investments for value chain start-ups while CDC remains as a jury-based cash award for entrepreneurs in fashion. There is an untapped opportunity to provide circular fashion enterprises with scaling support in the form of strategic collaborations and investments. We are happy to partner with CAIF to identify and champion the change-makers in our country.”

Vikas Bali, CEO, Intellecap said: It is core to Intellecap’s footprint in India to search, seed, support and scale high impact innovations across India. One of the roles we take with CAIF is to build the market for circular innovations to reach scale. Launching India’s first investor showcase for circular textile and apparel innovators in partnership with CDC is a critical stepping-stone to close gaps in the current ecosystem and create visibility for change-making circular fashion startups.”