A sustainable fashion tech firm here has pumped £1.2m into its business, creating 13 new jobs.
Responsible, which is based in Belfast’s Weavers Court, aims to create a platform for sustainability and circularity in fashion by incentivising brands and consumers to buy, sell and trade clothes.
The company’s Buy Back programme involves it partnering with fashion brands directly to include them in the resale of used clothes and facilitating the consumers’ return process.
Economic development agency Invest NI has offered the company £98,000 towards the creation of the jobs, along with business advice and support to protect the company’s intellectual property. Eleven of the jobs are already in place.
The new investment follows the company’s recent £5m seed funding round.
Mark Dowds, Responsible founder and chief executive, said: “The fashion industry needs to take meaningful steps towards de-carbonisation and critical to that is the embrace of circularity. Our re-Commerce solution offers a sustainable experience for shoppers and strong economic incentives for the industry that makes sustainable fashion more accessible.”
Mr Dowds, who is also a founder of the Ormeau Baths co-working space for NI innovators and entrepreneurs, added: “We have a zero-waste ambition for our business and need to be at the cutting edge of sustainable innovation if our business is to reach new markets in GB and Europe.
"With Invest NI’s support we will establish an innovation hub here in Belfast that will help us unlock growth. We’re excited to see what the future holds.”
Susan O’Kane, Invest NI’s eastern regional manager, said: “Responsible is a high-potential start-up with vast potential in the dynamic sustainability sector. With new business development identified as a key element of the Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision our Eastern regional team has worked closely with Mark and his team to help it set up in Northern Ireland.”