Circular Textile Innovation Accelerator

Meet the 10 Startups in the Circular Textile Innovation Accelerator.

To achieve 70% circular textiles by 2030 in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA), the Circular Innovation Collective (CIC) has developed a new approach, bringing systemic change to the regional textile sector and creating new jobs.

CIC’s multi-phased approach – designed for replication in other cities, regions and sectors – includes the following four steps:

The Report
published in Phase 1 informed our method for finding and supporting the most visionary entrepreneurs (Phase 02) who tackle the study’s four opportunity areas to close circular innovation gaps:

We selected the startups in the Circular Textile Innovation Accelerator after a thorough search that identified 332 international solutions from 15 countries. We had in-depth conversations with 60 innovators and eventually selected 10 startups from the ones that met all the criteria, including tackling one or more opportunity areas while creating high-value jobs and focusing on higher-R circular solutions - refuse, rethink, reduce, reuse, repair, refurbish, and remanufacture.

"Many existing projects focus on recycling. In our CIC approach we also want to look at the use of recyclable materials, of course, or how clothing can be designed for easy repair or reuse. But recycling is the last resort for us," says Impact Hub Amsterdam director Manon Klein referring to the R-ladder, the government’s pyramid of circular strategies. Unfortunately, recycling is almost at the bottom of this pyramid.

The 10 startups went through the Circular Textile Innovation accelerator, working with experts, mentors, and the  Metabolic, Bankers without Boundaries and Impact Hub teams.

The accelerator program provided various types of support to the entrepreneurs, enabling them to accelerate their mission and scale their impact towards regional circularity targets. These activities included a kick-off event and a four-day bootcamp in Amsterdam, featuring workshops on systems change, partnerships, impact measurement, and networking opportunities. The following three-month program offered one-on-one mentorship, monthly sparring sessions, financial coaching, and due diligence support.

Additionally, participants gained insights into the textile value chain, developed funding plans, established partnerships, enhanced their impact narrative, and improved their pitching skills. The program concluded with a Demo Day to pitch to impact investors and strategic partners, providing valuable connections and readiness for investment, growth, and impact.

Get to know the startups that focus on the higher R- business models and help to achieve 70% circular textiles by 2030 in the MRA while creating meaningful employment:

Opportunity Area 01

Increasing the affordability
and accessibility of circular services.


Mended is a circular platform that connects brands and individuals with local craftspeople to make repairing and altering clothes as easy as buying new ones. Innovation in the circular textile industry mainly focuses on design and production, leaving a gap in the use phase. Mended aims to bridge that gap and build an ecosystem for clothing to circulate at the highest value.

Repair is the core focus of Mended's service. Clothing items often remain unused because, for example, pant legs need shortening or there's s small hole. That's where Mended's solution comes in. The company has built a robust business and revenue model for its ingenious repair service by combining partnerships with brands looking to comply with the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) and charging consumers a fee for the services of craftspeople who mend their garments.

De Steek

De Steek is a sewing cafe, workshop space and sustainable fabric store. Its mission is to ensure that clothes- and textile-making and repairing techniques are accessible to everyone. De Steek also wants to make choosing sustainable fashion options easier by providing only sustainable or upcycled fabrics and raising awareness about the impact of fast fashion. 

Thanks to the accelerator program and 1-on-1 mentorship, De Steek decided to develop a new location in Amsterdam where people and companies can attend courses or rent workspaces. Consumers are relearning the skills to repair clothing items or make new ones. Wouldn’t it be great if all cities offered an accessible location where people could use sewing machines, find experts to lend a hand, and have all the necessary materials at their fingertips?


Byewaste provides a door-to-door service for reusing and recycling household items – from textiles to toys and electronics. Every object collected gets a second life through the company’s network of sustainable partners. Ensuring that pre-loved items find a new user stops them from being incinerated or taken to a landfill. Byewaste prevents 38 kg of CO2 per pick-up from entering the atmosphere. 

Reuse, repair and refurbish are the core elements of Byewaste’s business model, which currently focuses on separating items suitable for reuse from things that need to be recycled. Byewaste is raising a round of investment to expand the service to more Dutch cities. In the future, the company sees many opportunities to develop the app by adding more services, such as one focused on repair.

Opportunity Area 02

Retaining product performance and physical durability in the transition to less complex, biobased and biodegradable materials.


MARTAN is a circular fashion brand that turns waste textiles from the luxury hotel industry into colourful and surprising outfits. The brand operates at the intersection of ready-to-wear, art and sustainability. MARTAN produces most of its collection with upcycled or deadstock fabrics. The majority of the brand’s pieces are made-to-order in Amsterdam. 

Research shows that, even compared to other sustainable textiles produced with organic or recycled materials, MARTAN's reuse and upcycling of linens in European factories significantly reduces water use and CO2 emissions (83%). One of the company's strengths is rethinking potential fabric waste, such as a beautiful tablecloth with a tiny hole, to a red carpet look.

By Rockland

By Rockland designs, produces and supplies fully customised sustainable workwear for corporate employees in collaboration with well-known and up-and-coming Dutch designers. The company uses materials such as GOTS-certified cotton while considering wear resistance and washability criteria. Most of By Rockland’s production occurs in Amsterdam’s slow fashion studios.

ByRockland rethinks the design process by sourcing and implementing innovative materials that are not harmful to people or the planet. All the production occurs in Europe, including 15 per cent in the Netherlands, where they also collaborate with social workshops in Amsterdam to foster and support the local industry. Whenever possible, ByRockland repairs damaged pieces. If they’re beyond repair, the company collects them for recycling into exciting products.

Hollands Wol Collectief

Hollands Wol Collectief (HWC) buys Dutch sheep’s wool, sorts it for the correct application, and works with producers to process it before selling it to partners who turn it into beautiful products. The company also researches wool’s unique properties and environmental impact to build a circular supply chain and raise awareness of Dutch wool – a unique, local and sustainable biobased material.

Rethinking and rebuilding an entire industry is no walk in the park. HWC has identified the key activities in this industry and their roles in this value chain, including logistics and storage. This way the valuable materials are becoming available for the marketplace again, creating an interesting revenue model for this innovative business.

Opportunity Area 03

Citizens feel informed
and empowered by understanding the environmental and social impact of their clothing.

Race Against Waste

Race Against Waste RAW) aims to inspire everyone to participate in the transition to a circular economy in textiles, e-waste and energy. The platform is active in the Netherlands, Germany and France and focuses on three pillars: education, inspiration and activation. Its projects entail straightforward sustainable solutions implemented with schools, residents, partners, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders.

Even though recycling is currently the only revenue model from the collected items, RAW is working hard to change the narrative and incentivise consumers and municipalities to place more value on reuse and repair. This effort will require long-term systemic change. In the meantime, the company is rapidly growing thanks to paid challenges at elementary schools in 5 countries. The accelerator program helped RAW identify the shift needed in its team and filled the gap before the program ended.

Opportunity Area 04

Designing while preserving the identity of regenerative practices and diversity of craft.


MUMSTER is a conscious campaign agency for fashion pioneers. The agency spotlights innovative brands and helps them maximise their impact and accelerate positive change in the fashion industry. With a dedicated and skilled creative team from various backgrounds, MUMSTER creates, produces and launches campaigns that connect fashion pioneers with policymakers and consumers.

At the final stages of the CIC accelerator, Mumster found its home at United Repair Centre, where the company can bring sustainable fashion frontrunners together to connect and show their collections to an engaged audience of companies and consumers. Rethinking how these innovators can reach a wider audience and get a more prominent spotlight will help speed the transition to a more sustainable fashion industry.


Atalyé is a fashion brand focused on made-to-measure fashion. It uses pioneering technology, including a 3D body scanner and automated pattern-making system, to locally craft contemporary yet classic garments that perfectly fit each customer. Thanks to its on-demand approach, Atalyé only produces what it sells, thus avoiding overproduction and deadstock garments.

Atalyé rethinks the production process by collaborating with brands and placing individual consumers at the centre. With its software, consumers can order brand designs using exact body measurements, creating less waste during production and a personal relationship with an item that will enable repair if required. The accelerator program and the close collaboration with the other startups allowed Atalyé to focus on the ideal next step: getting a pilot client.


Atelier MADE HERE creates high-quality fashion in the Netherlands while reducing the industry’s ecological footprint and enhancing the appreciation of craftsmanship. The atelier produces timeless designs with long-term partners, using a made-to-order model to avoid unsold stock. To celebrate makers and their unique talents, MADE HERE is a tailor cooperative – one of the few worldwide.

The company offers a great example of building a business model from a rethink and refuse perspective with local, high-quality production, avoiding textile waste and creating meaningful jobs for artisans who had faced employment difficulties.

Next steps

With Bankers without Boundaries, CIC will connect these innovative startups to impact investors to help them grow and create systemic change.

Read more about the importance of new finance models for a circular economy here.

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About CIC

This project is initiated by Metabolic, Impact Hub Amsterdam and Bankers without Boundaries and supported by the City of Amsterdam (Amsterdam Impact), DOEN Foundation and Goldschmeding Foundation. Learn more.