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Saturday, February 24, 2024

The new trend: Fashion brands shifting to sustainable clothing

With the aim of extending the lifespan of clothing and promoting a circular economy fashion brand Virgio is shifting towards sustainability, and producing garments from naturally occurring materials like cotton, veering away from synthetic fabrics such as polyester.

Virgio, a fast fashion platform launched with fanfare ceased operation after 2022.  The downfall came despite the brand raising its last funds, amounting to US $ 37 million, in December 2022. As the company pitched its new program it gained financial backing from prominent entities like Prosus Ventures, Alpha Wave Partner, and Accel Partners during its Series A funding round, valuing the company at approximately US $ 160 million. These funds are in addition to the finance from notable angel investors including Bhavish Aggarwal, Sri Harsha Majety, Kunal Shah, Vidit Atrey, and Mekin Maheshwari.

Virgio through its website announced the discontinuation of the beloved fast fashion brand.  Virgio CEO Nagaram discussed with the media his realization after a year of operations that fast fashion is quite harmful, labeling it as a detrimental force. He regretted the use of harmful fabrics and labor exploitation by fast fashion companies to reduce costs and sacrifice quality, contributing to a throwaway culture. Drawing a comparison with SHEIN, he expressed a belief that Virgio could achieve even greater heights as a sustainable fashion brand.

The substantial funding of US $ 37 million raised by Virgio in 2022 remains securely within the company, ensuring a robust financial position with a cash runway extending up to three years.

Virgio had originally served as a platform connecting designers and manufacturers to establish a fast fashion ecosystem. The company offered a diverse range of clothing options, including casual wear, partywear, loungewear, sportswear, and ethnic attire for both men and women. Based in Bengaluru, the company extended its platform to consumers; however, its mobile app received fewer than 1 million downloads (approximately 800,000).

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