Westfield and Fashion District have announced the winners of the Retail Futures 2020 Innovation Prize, alongside runners-up and a special commendation.
Created by Fashion District in partnership with the Fashion Innovation Agency, London College Fashion, UAL, the Innovation Prize finds future tech pioneers and supports them in the fast-changing fashion industry.
Industry experts act as ‘critical friends’ to support and challenge the business propositions, and include representatives from Farfetch, Yoox-Net-a-Porter, Westfield, IBM, Fashion Innovation Agency, London Waste and Recycling Board and SR Retail Consultancy.
The overall winner was Lone Design Club, a sustainability-focused immersive shopping experience, encompassing concept stores, live streams and an online marketplace.
As part of Westfield’s commitment to innovating the future of retail, an investment of £15,000 was awarded to Rebecca Morter from Lone Design Club.
Prizes for two runners-up were awarded to Irene-Marie Seelig & Matthew Pril from AnamXR, and Maria Makrova and Irina Khaykina From GFAIVE who each received a £5,000 cash prize, as well as a special commendation for Benedicta Banga from Blaqbase.
Lone Design Club also won vital technology and business support from IBM to develop their business plan and a 12-month membership with Stylus, the competition’s trends partner, who will provide the winner with essential industry consumer insight.
Rebecca Morter, CEO, Lone Design Club commented: “We are beyond shocked, excited and grateful to win the Fashion District prize. This couldn’t have come at a better time for us, with lockdown kicking off and our pop up stores having to close, like many independent businesses we were worried about the next few months and how we would continue to support our brands – we are on a mission to digitally deeper amplify our designer stories, sustainable brands and our unique in store experience!”
The fourteen shortlisted retail tech start-ups listed below bring benefits for both retailers and customers, including new experiential physical and digital shopping experiences, platforms that create rental communities, help consumers make sustainable choices, or support black based fashion entrepreneurs.
Harita Shah, Director of Brand, Creative, Media, Comms & Events, Unibail Rodamco-Westﬁeld, said: “There have been some truly innovative ideas and solutions put forward by the SMEs. 2020 has been a year of huge acceleration of trends which has fostered creativity and ingenuity – just what we need to explore and reshape the industry going forward.”
Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District, added: “This year Retail Futures has unearthed new tech solutions that have responded to our biggest challenges, supporting the supply chain to tackle sustainability and bringing the customer both product choice and digital experience. 2020 has given rise to a whole host of inspiring and resilient start-ups.”