Fashion reseller Loopster, the UK’s only fast-growing managed marketplace for pre-loved fashion, has opened its second funding round to drive further growth in revenue and jobs.
Loopster, which launched in 2017, secured a six-figure seed investment in 2020 from the Development Bank of Wales and independent investors which has allowed the firm to improve its technology platform, increase process efficiencies and improve the customer experience.
Since moving its headquarters and fulfilment activities to Newport Business Centre in the east of the city in July 2020, the business has created 6 jobs with more to come and has seen an increase in orders and revenue of more than 400%, meaning the firm is now in a position to raise further equity investment to drive the awareness and scope of its circular model.
Founder and CEO Jane Fellner said,
“Fashion is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. 300 tonnes of our clothes in the UK end up in landfill or incinerated every year. At Loopster, our aim is to extend the life of fashion, by making shopping second-hand or past season, easy and accessible to all.”
One of the most significant initiatives the second Seed investment will support is the development of partner services for major retailers. Jane adds, “Retailers are being held increasingly accountable by both consumers and investors, to deliver on their sustainability promises. We know that 62% of consumers would buy more from fashion brands that partner with second-hand platforms. We aim to be that sustainable partner of choice for major brands. We have developed a brand credit system which allows brands to offer their customers the option to sell their unwanted clothes to Loopster in return for brand credit.”
A recent survey by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce found during the coronavirus crisis 50% of consumers believed the fashion industry should do whatever it takes to become more environmentally sustainable. Extending the life of one garment through second-hand use by just nine months reduces its carbon and water footprint by 20 to 30% which is where Loopster comes in.
Loopster non-Exec Director and local entrepreneur, Kate Methuen-Ley adds,
“We know that we need long-term solutions to meet climate targets and environmental challenges, and post-pandemic the need for sustainable solutions has never been greater. Here in Wales, we are leading the charge via our Future Generations Act, so it’s fantastic to see the growth Loopster has achieved in such a short period. This next investment will result in even more gains for the local economy as well as Jane’s mission to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.”
Loopster is aiming to raise an EIS eligible sum of £500,000. As well as developing the brand partnership model, the investment will also support the development of an Environmental Impact calculator, as well as investment in marketing capability and activity.