Hello, we’re ReFAB!
A social enterprise that stands for reintroducing waste and deadstock fabrics into the product lifecycle, tackling the devastating environmental impact of textile waste.
57% of clothing production in the UK ends up in landfill each year. That’s 350,000 tonnes worth £140m going underground!
We aim to introduce a B2B marketplace that sources production cut-offs and fabric stocks from mills and textile wholesalers connecting them with local designers and manufacturers.
Cynthia is one of 16,000 micro-business designers in the UK, which account for 98% of fashion designers. She struggles with having access to small quantities of fabric at a reasonable price, locally sourced. Anish is a textile manufacturer, based in the East Midlands textile cluster. Like 4,000 others, he’s got leftovers of swatches and end of rolls sitting in his warehouse. ReFAB gives Anish the opportunity to value his dead stock and offload it, and Cynthia a hassle-free and local way to source it.
ReFAB acts as a marketplace, connecting the likes of Cynthia and Anish; and bringing together an ecosystem of additional services while leveraging external expertise and lowering operational costs.
To encourage companies to use our platform, we’ll be partnering with a textile circular economy certification body so that users can have a badge for marketing purposes.
To list on ReFAB, users will pay a subscription fee. We will also charge a transaction fee for large volumes. There will be no subscription fee initially for buyers, to encourage take-up. We estimate to have 5 suppliers within year 1 trading on the marketplace, and capture 0.5% of the fashion designers market. The solution will scale from year 2 onwards as we open up to furniture designers.
The marketplace will have a positive impact across the value chain:
Environmental: 437 tonnes of fabric diverted from landfill in year 1 Worth £175,000
Social: As a social enterprise, we aim to train underserved minorities in Leicester on fashion design production, together with a local charity & university; and aim to have them trade on the marketplace from year 3. This will give us access to grants to further expand our social impact.
Governance: our marketplace will provide transparency throughout the value chain, which can be facilitated by technology in the future.
Additional team member: Alex Printer