RESPONSIBLE secures $6.6m funding round led by Barclays

Barclays has led a $6.6 million seed funding round in RESPONSIBLE, the embedded finance platform for the fashion industry.

The technology company, which operates in the UK from offices in Belfast and London, aims to help improve sustainability in the sector with a new take on recommerce. This involves partnering leading brands through its Buy Back loyalty programme.

The money will be used to expand the company’s reach across Europe and extend its network of brand partnerships.

“The fashion industry manufactures billions of items every year and only 5-7 per cent of these clothes are sold for a second time,” said Mark Dowds, founder and chief executive, RESPONSIBLE. “We are enabling brands to not only become accountable for everything they produce, but also to financially benefit from a more circular and sustainable business model.

“Data sources like Black Book and Glass’s Guide transformed the automotive industry, we plan to do the same in fashion.”

Barclays said the funding round marks the largest seed round of capital to be secured to date within the recommerce sector.

“Innovation in the fashion industry is critical in reducing global carbon emissions, and Barclays is delighted to support RESPONSIBLE as it continues to scale and address this issue,” said Andy Challis, co-head of principal investments, Barclays. “RESPONSIBLE has developed an innovative model which enables circularity in the fashion industry, partnering directly with brands to extend the life of garments and impact sector-wide change.”

The business plans to establish a presence in the EU early this year.

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