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eBay UK opens £100,000 fund for sustainable small businesses

Sophie Smith
17 October 2022

eBay UK has partnered with the British Fashion Council and Ellen MacArthur Foundation to launch a Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund, offering support for small businesses specialising in circular fashion solutions.

The fund hopes to bring new technology and services to the market that can help people think and shop differently, with a particular focus on areas such as customer experience, social commerce, circular inventory and services.

Applications for the Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund are open until 3 November 2022. A shortlist of ten businesses will then be invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts from eBay and other leading organisations.

The six winning businesses will each be awarded a £15,000 grant, with the final overall winner offered an additional £10,000. The winners will also have access to a six-week mentoring program, featuring one-on-one sessions with business leaders from eBay and organisations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Lucy Peacock, Head of Pre-loved at eBay UK, said: “Over the past few years, there have been so many brilliant start-ups and small businesses that are changing the way we think about a circular fashion economy. We hope that the Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund will help scale these innovative start-ups in size and reach, and in turn make sustainable fashion practices more accessible to more people and businesses.”

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, added: “We all have a part to play in creating a positive future for the fashion industry and now more than ever, it is crucial that the fashion community does its utmost to protect and nurture innovative start-ups and small businesses specialising in circular fashion solutions. The Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund is an excellent initiative, and we look forward to seeing all the ideas that each applicant has to offer."

The initiative builds on eBay's commitment to a more circular fashion industry, with the online marketplace helping to save over 17,770 tons of fashion items out of landfill in 2021.

In August 2022, eBay UK announced Love Island's Tasha Ghouri as its first ever Pre-Loved Ambassador. Earlier this year, eBay was also made Love Island's official fashion partner for the 2022 series, which saw the Islanders gain access to a wardrobe of preloved fashion for the first time.

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