Material Exchange Ventures, a Stockholm-based startup and creator of an eponymous sustainable fashion platform, has raised a $2 million seed round led by Inventure. The investment will be used to open a sales and technical support hub in mainland China.
Material Exchange, the SaaS platform, enables footwear and apparel brands to create, develop and source materials in a more sustainable way. The goal is to bring digital transformation — and transparency — to the fashion supply chain, by connecting suppliers and buyers in a material marketplace, of sorts.
In the last year, over 100 material suppliers have joined, showcasing their materials instantly to brands across the world. The platform’s online catalogue also saves time for brands, who can find on-trend materials in seconds, rather than sifting through physical swatch books. So far more than 50 brands, such as Jack Jones, Steve Madden, Uggs, Champion, and other household names, have signed up.
The Swedish company is particularly excited about the addition of Camuto Group, whose members include luxury brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch, and Saks Fifth Avenue. “This a fantastic addition to the platform. To bring onboard a brand like Camuto Group shows Material Exchange is really gaining momentum, and making brands sit up and take notice. This will allow Camuto Group to digitally transform their supply chain and completely reduce their need for physical material samples,” said Andy Polk, Senior Vice President at the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a trade association in the US.
Darren Glenister, CEO of Material Exchange Ventures, said: “We are thrilled to be expanding into Asian markets to further strengthen relationships with suppliers, which will in turn give brand designers, material teams and product developers access to the most comprehensive digital material library available anywhere in the world — creating a sustainable speed-to-market supply chain for their products.”