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Entrepreneurship & Startups Updated: 03 Oct 2019

Three social enterprises revolutionizing sustainable fashion

As sustainable fashion moves closer to the mainstream, it is starting to be recognized as an efficient way of curbing the impact of one of the planet’s most polluting industries. The industry’s social enterprises cool eco-friendly designs are winning the hearts and pockets of consumers.

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Sustainable fashion is finally taking to the streets is beginning to make waves among increasingly conscious shoppers looking for ethical and eco-friendly garments. This is one of the key takeaways of The Year in Fashion, the year-end recap published by luxury fashion search engine Lyst based on the billions of searches run through its webservers in 2019: Searches including keywords such as “sustainable” and “ethical” keywords increased by 47%. However, according to Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2019 Update, a report published by Global Fashion Agenda and Sustainable Apparel Coalition, while the industry’s social and environmental performance, it is still far from being sustainable: “Results show that fashion companies are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to offset the negative environmental and social impacts that come with their growth.”

As climate change becomes more and more tangible, it is becoming increasingly pressing to roll out solutions to offset its impacts. BBVA Momentum, the BBVA’s social entrepreneurship support program, is benefitting a handful of fashion startups that aim to disrupt the market with innovative, fashionable and sustainable proposals. The planet’s health depends on the ability of initiatives such as these to achieve the success they deserve and deliver on their far-reaching goals..

Fokus Green (Colombia)

Is it possible to create quality fashion items from industrial waste and used plastic bottles? The answer is yes. Fokus Green is working to redefine the fashion market with a groundbreaking approach, where environmental activism and the production of econ-friendly garments go hand in hand. “We love this magical home we call Earth and that’s why sponsor at least three coastal and ocean cleanup and three mass reforestation projects every year,” says Camilo Jaramillo Uribe, CEO of this social enterprise. “Our goal is to remove over 20 tons of plastic waste from our coasts and plant over 5,000 trees in the territories in which we are present every year.”

Fokus Green’s products combine quality and environmental friendliness. “They are made from a mix of recycled raw materials consisting basically of industry waste and plastic bottles harvested from our oceans.” Water savings, one of the industry’s weakest points, is substantial at Fokus Green: "We save up to 2,500 liters of water per product, free of chemicals, pesticides and dyes".

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In Fokus Green the environmental activism and the production of econ-friendly garments go hand in hand.

TutumluAnne (Turquía)

TutumluAnne is Turkey’s largest children clothing resale marketplace. The platform, which receives 1.3 million monthly visits in average, offers a solution for a problem that many families face: buying clothes for fast-growing children.

Besides being a sustainable consumption alternative and offering a second life to children’s clothes, TutumluAnne allows families to make some extra money selling garments they no longer use. The company keeps moving forward, and is working to upgrade its payment and shipping options as well as its product quality screening procedures, to ensure the that all items are in good condition before they are posted online, and on improving its buyer and seller recommendation system.

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TutumluAnne is Turkey’s largest children clothing resale marketplace.

Magpies & Peacocks (Estados Unidos) 

Magpies & Peacocks, is a social enterprise based in Houston that works to create an environment for positive change by nurturing arts, education, keeping fashion out of landfill, and giving back to the Houston community. Its model rests on four principles: collaborate, create, educate and invest: “We want to promote a business center in the Houston area focused on art and fashion, to raise awareness about the problems caused by the fashion industry and harness the opportunities that we have to solve them,” says founder Sarah Jayne Smith.

Magpies & Peacocks works with designers and artists to create fashion items using the materials stored in its reusable resource library, which consists of products donated by the community. Also, the company is partnering with art schools and leading fashion and design enterprises to conduct artistic education programs for students and designers looking to expand their knowledge and join of the community’s support network.

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Magpies & Peacocks works with designers and artists to create fashion items using the materials stored in its reusable resource library.

These are some of the solutions that BBVA Momentum entrepreneurs have rolled out. To find out more, please visit our “Startups” section.