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Drapers' Den: which are the best sustainability innovations?

From the use of post-consumer cotton waste in packaging to a peer-to-peer rental wardrobe platform, five start-ups presented leading-edge ideas at the Drapers Sustainable Fashion conference in London today. 

Five businesses with ideas spanning extending the life of cotton to building a marketplace of sustainable factories explained their innovations to attendees and a Dragons’ Den-style panel at Drapers’ sustainability conference. 

Judges Touker Suleyman, entrepreneur and investor, Julian Lings, sustainability manager at The North Face, and David Mallon, director at Red Inc, judged the concepts. 

They said the winner, Ceae, was most interesting in terms of how far the business had advanced in a short time. Ceae also won a live audience vote, gathering 35% of the votes. 

Ceae uses post-consumer cotton waste to produce biodegradable packaging for the fashion industry. It is designed to replace plastic bags and paper tags. 

The North Face’s Lings said: “If we can find a solution around packaging, that’s groundbreaking. It’s really exciting, and it sounds like Ceae has made a lot of progress.”

Here are the other four finalists: 


Describing itself as “the Airbnb of fashion”, Hurr is a peer-to-peer rental platform for fashion. Geo-tagging means members can connect with others close by. They can then meet up in a public place to exchange garments. The platform only lists items with a recommended retail price of £150 RRP and above. 

So Just Shop

So Just Shop uses blockchain technology to provide assurance on the sustainability of supply chains of smaller fashion brands and retailers. It highlights information such as where a product was made, how, by who and what their working conditions were like. 


Cellucare makes small enzyme-based sachets that can go into the washing machine to remove pills, fuzziness and worn fibres, bring back the colour, and increase the life of a product. 

Common Objective 

Common Objective (CO) is a business-to-business sourcing and information network. The platform creates a personalised experience for users, connecting them with what and who they need to know, and who they need to know, to create a sustainable fashion business. Users can access to a global database of brands and suppliers, and the platform gives the most sustainable businesses a higher search ranking. 


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