Innovation That Matters

Uptrade matches buyers and sellers of excess fabric | Photo source Pexels

Rescuing and upcycling unused fabrics

Fashion & Beauty

A B2B platform helps to reduce textile waste while giving suppliers the opportunity to make the most of their unused fabric

Spotted:  French startup Uptrade is on a mission to solve the fashion industry’s fabric waste problem. The company is the first European platform to rescue and upcycle unused fabrics that would otherwise have been discarded.

Uptrade was founded by Eleonore Rothley Lafon and Charlotte Billot. Together, the duo set out to address the overproduction standards that have shaped the fashion industry for decades. Their solution is a matchmaking platform that pairs those wishing to buy fabric with textile manufacturers and fashion labels with excess fabric in their inventories.

For buyers, Uptrade curates a selection of ‘sleeping’ stocks’ based on quantity, quality, and origin. Traceability is core to the platform, with the ‘uptrade – Saved fabric’ label guaranteeing both the origin of a fabric and the sustainable approach of the seller. Uptrade also negotiates a price that is fair to both parties.

For sellers, Uptrade takes care of all the logistics. All the seller has to do is prepare the parcel and let Uptrade know its weight and dimensions. Further instructions are then provided with the purchase order, with shipping costs borne by the buyer. Uptrade will also help sellers develop a tailored selling strategy.

According to Uptrade’s website the need for upcycling is clear, “The figures are dreadful: in all the world, an average of 12 per cent of all the fabric produced in a year is wasted …When these stocks are not simply left aside, they are often destroyed, by being either burnt or buried in a landfill site.”

Springwise has spotted other recent fashion innovations focused on recycling and re-selling. These include a technology company bringing ‘Resale-as-a-Service’ to fashion brands, smart threads that make it easy to disassemble clothes, and a plug-in that lets customers sell back their old clothes in exchange for real-time store credit.

Written By: Katrina Lane


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