STAND Up!: Meet the 4 green circular start-ups selected for the incubation phase in Italy


Four green circular start-ups will take part in the incubation phase in Italy, starting in September and lasting until January 2022. As partner of the STAND Up! project, the Prato Textile Museum has coordinated the selection of the best initiatives, chosen by a board of fashion and sustainable experts.

In this sense, the selected start-ups were chosen through a pitching session internally organized and involving the 40 projects that participated in the Green Business Model training which presented their fashion and textile sustainable proposals. This first phase, the so-called STAND Up! Growing Innovation Program, of the project consisted in training sessions and expert support.

The young fashion entrepreneurs presented through short videos the key elements of their green business canvas. The committee panel was formed by Nicola Cerantola, an international consultant and researcher on bioinspired design, circular economy and green entrepreneurship; Tiziano Guardini, fashion and sustainability consultant and fashion designer and Giusy Bettoni, founder of C.L.A.S.S., a multi-platform hub for smart material, innovation, education and marketing.

Four projects were found to be the most suitable to access the early-stage incubation phase,, which includes the implementation of their Green Business Plan following the SwitchMed green entrepreneurship methodologies through the Switchmed platform and the access to specific mentoring, business and financial consultancy services.

The four start-ups selected are:

  • ClipClappers is a sustainable childrenswear brand for children aged between 3 to 6 combining two distinct market realities in one product: children's fashion and play. The durability of the brand sweatshirt is extended by accessories that last even when the sweatshirt needs to be replaced as the child grows. The accessories fit all sizes. The products comply with high quality and chemical management standards and the brand guarantees non-toxic materials.
  • Armonia project/Altoricamo aims to create a network that connects retailers, tailors and suppliers offering a tailor-made service of sustainable, modular, customized and bespoke bridal dresses, made in Italy with the highest quality certifying fabrics and processes.
  • ReFabrics is the first upcycled 100% cashmere brand, cruelty free, sustainable and strictly made in Tuscany. It promotes a new way of making fashion in which waste of resources and pollution are no longer an issue. To make this happen the team have devised a production process that combines a mix of artisan and innovative elements, where the raw materials used are regenerated fibres from old jumpers.
  • Zerow is a digital platform aiming to connect the value chains of different production realities, minimising the waste produced at industrial, craft and commercial level. Zerow's values are embodied in three separate but complementary activities: circular networking between businesses and crafts, a marketplace for circular products and a search engine for waste.

Founded and led by young women (Clipclappers; Armonia project) and by teams of young people under 35 (ReFabrics; Zerow), the 4 identified projects in Italy will benefit from a range of opportunities leading to innovative products and services within the textile and clothing sector and generating a positive environmental impact via the creation and growth of green businesses with sustainable consumption and production methods.