The British Fashion Council invests in adaptive lingerie and metaverses it in a new fund
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The British Fashion Council (BFC) is taking a more active role in boosting financial support for emerging global brands and businesses through a new fashion fund. The first to receive support is an adaptive intimate brand Intimately; metaverse space and marketplace, Digital Village; and Vollebak, a men’s outdoor clothing brand that combines science and technology.
The BFC has partnered with British venture capital firm Venrex to launch Venrex BFC Fashion I, an investment fund for small businesses entering the fashion industry. Venrex provides the funds for the investments, while the BFC receives fees and part of the carry.
Intimately received $1 million in funding led by BFC and Venrex; Digital Village received $600,000; and Vollebak declined to release numbers. The founders say they will use the investment to build and grow their brands.
The goal is to create a better fashion ecosystem while helping young and emerging brands grow. “It’s a fund with a purpose,” says BFC President Stephanie Phair. “There is a circularity there. Investors enter for profit, to participate in the growth of this industry, but some of these fees are then reinvested in the design sector.
The BFC will reinvest its fees into the fashion sector through its existing initiatives, such as the BFC vogue Fashion Fund and BFC New Gen partnership with TikTok. This fund will support seed, start-up or growth companies.
Vollebak says the investment will go towards research and development, a key aspect of the brand’s USP. The British brand combines science and technology to create new materials and clothing. Last year he designed clothes for the crew traveling to Mars. “It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money,” says co-founder Steve Tidball. “Creating new ideas, new processes and new materials is expensive and complicated. There is no way around this.
US company Intimately is using this investment to expand its team and create a digital platform for women with disabilities to interact. “We’re building the team, making this app accessible for both community and shopping, and then working on patents for our new fastening technology,” says founder Emma Butler.