Belfast-based RESPONSIBLE raises a $6.6 million Seed Round of investment capital

  • Belfast-based RESPONSIBLE has raised $6.6M in a Seed Round led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, including Techstart Ventures, Rafał Brzoska, and Sarah Friar to power a circular future for fashion.

    This round of funding will be used to expand RESPONSIBLE’s reach throughout Europe and extend its network of brand partnerships. This marks the largest seed round of capital to be secured to date within the reCommerce sector, giving RESPONSIBLE the opportunity to make a meaningful change in the industry.

    Andy Challis, co-Head of Principal Investments, Barclays, said: “Innovation in the fashion industry is critical in reducing global carbon emissions, and Barclays is delighted to support RESPONSIBLE as it continues to scale and address this issue.”

    RELATED: HBAN business angels have invested median of £167K each in start-ups

    Sarah Friar, founder of NextDoor, also added: “Investing in community means thinking holistically about how our actions impact the community around us. For example, most of us know that it is better to buy previously worn clothes instead of new, RESPONSIBLE is now making this more convenient and easier. I am excited to see another company from Northern Ireland step up with a global solution to help our planet.”

    RESPONSIBLE have developed a technology solution called Buy Back that can be easily integrated into a brand’s eCommerce and physical stores. The technology is integrated at the point of purchase to inform shoppers of the residual value of the item they are about to buy. The shopper is free to wear the garment and return the product at any point in the future in exchange for credit at the Buy Back price stated at purchase. 

    The Buy Back plugin is immediately available within the Shopify eco-system and will soon support other eCommerce Platforms. Not only does RESPONSIBLE provide their technology to fashion brands to keep products in circulation, but they also provide the infrastructure and operational capability to ensure this remains a seamless and low-touch way for brands to embrace a circular future.

    RELATED: HBAN angel investments exceed pre-pandemic levels

    Mark Dowds, Founder and CEO, RESPONSIBLE, said: “The fashion industry manufactures billions of items every year and only 5-7% of these clothes are sold for a second time. We are enabling brands to not only become accountable for everything they produce, but also to financially benefit from a more circular and sustainable business model. Data sources like Black Book and Glass’s Guide transformed the automotive industry, we plan to do the same in fashion.”

    RESPONSIBLE has launched with several partners including design-led brands RÆBURN and Côte et Ciel, alongside pioneering denim brands, Kuyichi, and Kings of Indigo with more to be announced over the coming months. Many of these brand products are now available on RESPONSIBLE’s resale platform,

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story