What does the future of fashion tech and retail tech look like? According to Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE), who has announced the future players in tech for their next round of the FashTech Pioneer Programme, it’s all about personalisation.
Beginning in November 2018, six fashion tech innovators will join CFE and all of them will interrogate a growing sector-wide interest in personalisation. From the personalisation of products to the personalisation of retail and shopping experiences, the customer comes first.
Bespoke shirting business Collarbone, who quickly turn around made-to-measure shirts through easy measuring and collection facilities across the city are offering a truly personal product and service. While Bundlee, who after witnessing its huge success in Scandinavia, has brought the UK its first home-delivery baby clothing rental subscription model, which provides a personalised (and returnable) bundle of clothing to accommodate the rapid rate at which children grow, and reduces the amount of waste clothing that is generated. By customising their offer, both these business models also promote sustainability in opposition to fast fashion. Eve Kekeh, Bundlee owner, says ‘the programme will provide us with the expertise and network that will propel our growth so that we can create the greatest sustainable impact’.
Several businesses joining CFE have developed digital applications to ease and personalise the online retail experience, from Proximistyle, which provides an effortless personalised search tool, with one-click reserve functions and a cross-brand shopping list that works both online and offline. Harper Concierge helps fashion brands better connect with their customers by delivering the in-store experience to customers at home. Own-Kind is a digital suitcase planner for women who love fashion and travel and need to plan their wardrobes – think Clueless in 2018. While Virt-U-Code is working business2business to provide a virtual 3D garment fitting experience for retailers.
Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) is London's pioneering fashion business incubator, supported by London College of Fashion, UAL. The programme-based offer supports businesses from across fashion, accessories, jewellery and fashion tech at different points in their journey. Tailored mentoring, studio or desk space and business guidance helps them not only grow but manage growth.
The FashTech Pioneer programme nurtures emerging FashTech SMEs by identifying and providing solutions for some of the issues that can hinder growth in the early stages of business. Both these programmes support businesses for 6 months by providing regular one-on-one mentoring sessions and expert workshops covering business strategy, production, finance and legal.
The incoming FashTech Pioneer Programme businesses:
Bundlee is the UK’s first baby clothing rental subscription. Parents rent bundles of quality baby clothes, then return outgrown clothes to get the next size up. https://bundlee.co.uk/
Collarbone is a bespoke shirt brand and service that enables men to create, customise and order their very own luxury bespoke shirts that are handcrafted according to their dimensions and delivered within 10 working days. https://www.collarbonelondon.com/
Harper helps fashion brands better connect with their customers by delivering the in-store experience to customers at home. Harper is a fashion fulfilment and technology company that solves the nightmare of returns and brings people and service to the forefront of the online shopping experience. https://www.harperconcierge.com/
Own-Kind provides a wardrobe digitisation service, enabling clients to browse their wardrobe from their phone, use the Own-Kind outfit planning tools, pack a digital suitcase for their trips and link their outfits to locations and events on their trip.
Proximistyle provides an effortless personalised search tool, with one-click reserve functions and a cross-brand shopping list that works both online and offline. https://proximistyle.com/
Virt-U-Code is working to provide a virtual 3D garment fitting experience. A fully integrated solution that provides retailers with a platform where they can offer an interactive virtual fitting space to their customers with a personalised virtual avatar with accurate measurements. http://virt-u-code.com/
Here CFE talks to Shopify’s Rahul Kulkarni about personalisation and omnichannel marketing: http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/fashion/2018/10/22/closing-gap-consumers/
About Fashion Technology Emerging Futures
CFE’s Fashion Technology Emerging Futures (FTEF) project is instrumental to the new ecosystem emerging in London that recognises the convergence of fashion and technology SMEs. Through its tailored support programmes, CFE builds confidence in these businesses to adopt and innovate their business models, products, and services. In turn, new fashion and lifestyle products are grown and digital marketing and retail solutions are developed, boosting London’s high-value fashion and retail sector.
The project is receiving up to £4.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
For more details contact CFE’s Press Office – firstname.lastname@example.org.