STAND Up!: More than 40 start-ups sharing ideas at the first face-to-face networking event in Spain


More than 40 entrepreneurs from the textile and circular fashion industry met last Tuesday the 28th of September at the TecnoCampus in Mataró (Barcelona). This was the venue chosen for the first networking meeting of star-tups that are developing their business projects thanks to STAND Up!, an European project funded by the European Union within the ENI CBC MED cooperation programme, which works to develop sustainable business ideas within the textile and fashion sector in five Mediterranean countries: Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt.

The Textile Industry Confederation (Texfor), The Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) and the incubator Reimagine Textile, organized the first face-to-face networking day with entrepreneurs from sustainable and industrial textile projects. STAND Up!, since it was born in July 2020, has been supporting them via trainings and expert support.

During the event, the ecologist, expert in circular economy business design and founder of the consultancy firm Human Nation, Sharam Yalda, gave a lecture on the need to introduce sustainability criteria in all business projects in the textile industry.  In this sense, Yalda stressed that "we have to move towards a regenerative culture, there is no economy without ecology" and Texfor's Head of Sustainability, David Allo, explained the main characteristics, opportunities and benefits offered by textile business projects "conceived and designed in terms of circular economy".

A second important highlight of the day was the conference given by Txell Costa, leader of the business strategy and marketing consultancy Txell Costa Group. Costa explained that the entrepreneurs need to present the need for "a good marketing strategy to turn ideas into successful businesses".  Both speakers were appointed by Texfor as mentors of the 4 projects selected for the upcoming incubation phase of STAND Up! in Spain.

These four innovative start-ups in the textile and clothing sector will receive 7 months of mentoring, supported by professionals with a long experience in sustainable development and entrepreneurship, together with a grant of €4,500 for hiring experts. To know more about them, the four selected candidates for the incubation phase are: Bäloop, Zer Era, Made in Kolors, Deleitewear.

Once the speech panel was over, the auditorium of the TecnoCampus in Mataró became a space for face-to-face meetings for the attendees. Entrepreneurs, mentors and experts were able to exchange ideas, knowledge and create synergies highlighting the common goal of all the projects selected by Texfor with a common goal: to reduce the negative impact that the conventional textile industry can have on the environment, by creating sustainable start-ups that are committed to the reuse of fabrics and the treatment of fibres without using chemical pollutants.