Miroslava Duma wants to make a sustainable impact on the fashion industry with Fashion Tech Lab, and a $50 million fashion tech fund.
FTL’s fund is backed by a group of private and institutional investors and counts fashion angel investor Carmen Busquets, CFDA chairwoman Diane Von Furstenberg and EcoAge founder Livia Firth as members of its advisory board.
Duma’s main aim with the venture is to bring members of the fashion industry closer to the idea that they can actually build businesses with sustainability as a key component of their organizational structures and product offerings.
“Millennials and Gen Z, those are the ones who demand sustainability in every single area of their lives,” Duma said in a Business of Fashion report. “The fashion and apparel industry is the second-largest polluter in the world. I was shocked [when I found out] and started to think what we could actually do about it.”
In addition to news of the investment FTL has announced it has added famed fashion technologist Amanda Parkes as chief innovation officer to its team of 15 that work across five countries including the U.S., Britain, Italy, China and Russia.
“We are convinced that technology does not have to be at odds with sustainability,” Parkes told BOF. “In fact, quite the opposite — science should be seen as a tool and resource to help transform fashion into a truly 21st century industry.”
Duma has launched the fund with a three-prong focus on investment, acceleration and experimentation to support socially responsible fashion companies. The fund will invest in materials science, biotech, nanotechnology, wearable electronics and high–performance fibers and fabric solutions with a fashion focus.
The agency portion of FTL will work to connect fashion enterprises like Kering and LVMH with scientists and engineers to help them develop technologies that will drive their businesses toward sustainability.
Some of Duma’s previous fashion investments include Orange Fiber Brand, Diamond Foundry, Reformation, Finery and RewardStyle, so it is expected that her future investments through FTL will mirror these companies.