With the vision to bring sustainability into the fashion sector and clean up the industry’s reputation for waste, London-based Sojo has just raised €2.2 million in pre-seed funding for its pioneering app. The round was led by CapitalT and leading seed investors Ascension with participation from Mustard Seed MAZE and Vertex Albion Capital.
Sojo was founded by the young visionary entrepreneur, Josephine Philips with the mission to help make the fashion industry more circular by bringing the clothing repair and tailoring sector into the 21st century. The London-based startup has developed an app that will take on the task.
A lover of vintage fashion, founder Josephine continually found herself falling for second-hand pieces that were not in her size. With no convenient way to get the pieces tailored, she decided to create a solution – connecting customers to local seamster businesses through an app and bicycle delivery service. With the projected mass growth of the second-hand fashion market paired with the knowledge of the fashion industry’s ongoing waste problem, Sojo is establishing itself as a leader in providing sustainable solutions to the industry.
Janneke Niessen & Eva de Mol, Founding Partners at CapitalT commented: “We need more circular solutions to minimise the environmental impact of our consumer journey. In the last two decades, we have extracted, processed, and consumed more material resources than ever — and yet we’re recirculating less than 10% of those resources globally. Especially in the fashion industry, the vast majority of processed materials end up in a landfill or waste incineration plant. Bridging this gap between what is being done and what needs to be done is not an easy challenge. Exceptional challenges like these need exceptional founders — like Josephine. Josephine is a go-getter who combines visionary strategy with powerful execution like no other. We are excited to back the Sojo team as they make fashion circular!”
Launched in 2021, Sojo prides itself on being solutions-oriented and impact-driven. The B2B offering was introduced in November 2021 through a partnership with fashion brand GANNI to offer free tailoring and repairs to all of its London-based customers with plans to expand the service nationwide following the initial pilot stage.
Josephine Philips, Founder & CEO of Sojo commented: “It has been so incredible to see such a huge shift when it comes to consumer behaviour regarding sustainable fashion – like witnessing the huge rise of re-sale platforms like Depop. We are so excited to continue to drive circularity in the sector in a new way – through the repair and tailoring of our clothes. Having such a brilliant roster of investors onboard to enable us to have true scale and impact. Here’s to a future of clothes that are made to fit and made to last.”
The investment will enable Sojo to scale up the existing team of 5 and further develop and expand its B2B proposition. With seven new partners onboarding during Q2 of 2022, Sojo embeds circularity into fashion and retail businesses providing a solution to reduce growing return rates, where size and fit is often a primary factor and lengthen the life cycle of garments.
Sojo’s direct-to-consumer business remains a priority, with the relaunch of the app in March 2022 to further streamline the user’s experience. Currently serving London zones 1-2, 2022 will see Sojo further expand both in the capital city and throughout the rest of the UK.