Belfast-based start-up Responsible has recently secured €5.8 million in funding to further enhance its innovative embedded finance platform for the fashion industry. This funding round, which is led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital and Techstart Ventures, will allow Responsible to expand its operations throughout Europe and establish a strong presence in the EU market.

Responsible, co-founded by Mark Dowds and Mitch Doust in the previous year, aims to tackle the sustainability problem in the fashion industry through its unique re-commerce approach. The company has developed a technology solution known as ‘Buy Back’, which can be seamlessly integrated into a brand’s e-commerce platform as well as physical stores. When a customer makes a purchase, the technology informs them about the residual value of the item. Subsequently, the customer has the option to wear the garment and return it at any time in exchange for credit at the Buy Back price.

Initially, Responsible’s plug-in was only available within the Shopify ecosystem, but it will soon be compatible with other popular e-commerce platforms. The company believes that its solution will empower brands to keep their products in circulation and facilitate the shift towards a circular future. This approach offers a seamless and low-touch way to achieve sustainability goals.

Co-founder and CEO Mark Dowds emphasized the significant waste within the fashion industry, where only a small percentage of clothes (5%-7%) are sold for a second time. By holding brands accountable for their production and providing them with financial incentives to adopt a more circular and sustainable business model, Responsible aims to catalyze a transformative impact on the fashion industry.

Drawing inspiration from the automotive industry’s use of data sources such as Black Book and Glass’s Guide, Responsible aims to revolutionize the fashion industry by utilizing data to drive sustainability. With the newly acquired funding, the company is now poised to expand its reach and usher in positive change within the fashion industry across Europe.

Useful links:
1. Responsible Official Website
2. Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital