eBay UK is partnering with the British Fashion Council to launch a £100,000 Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund. The fund is designed to help small businesses in the circular fashion industry access new technology and deliver innovative solutions.
eBay has long been championing the circular economy and has committed to maintaining its position as the leading online resale market for pre-loved and vintage fashions. The partnership with the British Fashion Council will allow eBay to access thought leaders in the industry and identify innovative projects that will benefit from additional funding. In addition, the partnership will work closely with the environmental charity, Hubbub, which will offer advice based on its experience in delivering grant funding.
eBay’s Passion for Pre-Loved Fashion
eBay has invested heavily in pre-loved fashion recently. The online marketplace famously sponsored the 2022 season of Love Island. More recently, eBay announced a collaboration with the reality TV shows Tasha Ghouri.
Following these high-profile campaigns, eBay saw an increase of 7,000% in searches relating to pre-loved fashions compared to the previous year. As a result, eBay UK now sells two pieces of pre-loved fashion every second.
Speaking to journalists, Lucy Peacock, eBay UK’s Head of Pre-loved, said: “There’s widespread acceptance across the fashion world that circularity is key for the long-term success of the industry. Over the past few years, there have been so many brilliant start-ups and small businesses that are changing the way we think about a circular fashion economy. We hope that the Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund will help scale these innovative start-ups in size and reach, and in turn make sustainable fashion practices more accessible to more people and businesses.”
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, added: “Supporting excellence and innovation is at the core of what we do. We all have a part to play in creating a positive future for the fashion industry and now more than ever, it is crucial that the fashion community does its utmost to protect and nurture innovative start-ups and small businesses specialising in circular fashion solutions. Through our Institute of Positive Fashion, our main goal is to encourage global collaboration and local action through education and information sharing to help the British fashion industry to be more resilient and circular. The Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund is an excellent initiative, and we look forward to seeing all the ideas that each applicant has to offer”.
How to Apply
Businesses are invited to apply to be considered for the funding via the eBay for Business website. Applications close on November 3, 2022. A panel of experts will then shortlist ten businesses which will then be invited to pitch for the funding. Six finalists will then be selected and receive £15,000, with an additional £10,000 offered to the winning pitch.
Successful businesses will also participate in a six-week mentoring program with experts from eBay and other industry leaders, creating opportunities to network with other innovators in the circular fashion industry.