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Shifting the industry through waste management

A large share of the 150 billion garments that are produced each year go to waste. Reverse Resources was founded with a conviction to do something about it, thus created a platform where textile leftovers are mapped, traced and traded.

Picture yourself an Uber of textile waste and you might get an idea of what Reverse Resources is all about. Through an online platform, the company tracks and trades textile waste while providing 360-degree transparency of the waste flows.

Two years after winning the GCA in 2016, Reverse Resources shifted their idea from creating an online trading site of fabrics for upcycling designers, to focusing on tracking and tracing cutting scraps. Since then, Reverse Resources has proven the business case and started to prepare for scaling.

”We are currently running waste mapping and tracing projects with 15 brands, mostly as a part of the Circular Fashion Partnership that was launched together with the Global Fashion Agenda. We are moving roughly 100 tons of production waste per month from factories in Bangladesh to recycling across Asia and Europe, which is just a start of the journey with most of our partners,” says Ann Runnel, co-founder of Reverse Resources.

The Circular Fashion Partnership, CFP, is a collaboration between Global Fashion Agenda, Reverse Resources and BGMEA: Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association. The partnership is a call to action to fashion brands to invite their garment suppliers to set up segregation of their waste to steer it to textile-to-textile recycling, so that it can be turned back into high quality, recycled products.

”The Partnership has found huge interest from the fashion industry within a short time span, and we see really wonderful results in Bangladesh. It helps increase awareness, but also gives a very strong business case for Bangladesh to start using the secondary material in a much more meaningful way – growing the economy while reducing environmental impact significantly,” says Runnel.

In May 2021, Reverse Resources closed its first round of seed investment. After many years of being a research company run from grants and awards, the company is now transitioning to a more classical startup, with fast scaleup waiting ahead.

”We are doing something quite unique in the market, and are getting a lot of requests and demand. I really hope that a year from now we can put actual figures behind the statement that our platform helps create a huge shift in the industry.”

Ann Runnel

Reverse Resources

Founders: Ann Runnel, Nin Castle and Dea Lasting
Contact: Ann Runnel and Marieke Koemans-Kokkelink