The Renewal Workshop
Turning the fashion industry circular
The Renewal Workshop’s mission is to transition fashion & apparel brands to fully circular, zero-waste businesses. TRW collects damaged & used garments for brands, and cleans, repairs and resells them to consumers through a branded recommerce site.
The fashion industry has a very significant negative environmental and social impact. To take action we believe we need to start to turn the industry circular, by reducing our dependence on new items from virgin resources and breaking the linear take-make-waste cycle. Some change has started to happen with the spectacular rise of ‘recommerce’, which includes traditional second-hand but also refurbished clothing. This trend is evidenced by the strong growth of online second-hand marketplaces such as Vestiaire Collective, Thredup, and Vinted. But brands often have the best quality damaged & used garments and a strong relationship with consumers, which puts them in a good spot to lead the shift to a circular industry.
TRW enables brands to be the driving force in this transition. In their renewal facilities they do the hard work of cleaning and repairing damaged & used garments, which is then put onto a sophisticated technology platform to resell the renewed items on brand-owned recommerce sites (example). TRW operates a zero waste circular system and collects impact data on the water, carbon, and chemicals saved. To date, TRW has diverted over two hundred thousand pounds of apparel from landfill.
Co-founders Jeff Denby & Nicole Bassett are pioneers of brand-driven recommerce in the US, where they built the first renewal facility in 2016. From the start we were impressed by their clear impact drive and the strong company culture they have built. With very strong demand for their service in Europe it was high time to make the leap across the Atlantic. In the new facility in Amsterdam they will serve large brands like The North Face.
Social Impact Ventures, together with SHIFT Invest, Quadia and US-based funds Closed Loop Ventures and Gratitude Railroad have invested EUR 5 million in The Renewal Workshop to fund their expansion to Europe.
“Our biggest opportunities for growth are in Europe. In Social Impact Ventures we found an impact-focused, values-aligned partner who would support not only our commercial mission and entrance into a new market but also champion and protect our environmental impact as we scale”
– Nicole Bassett, Co Founder at The Renewal Workshop
For more information, please go The Renewal Workshop
#12 Responsible consumption and production