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Investment Opportunity: PDS Innovation Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Fashion District is supporting The PDS Innovation Awards! Celebrating the ongoing partnership between Common Objective (CO) and PDS Limited, the awards offer early-stage businesses the opportunity to pitch in front of PDS investors.

About the awards

PDS Limited is a leader in enabling the next generation of sustainable and scalable fashion tech start-ups. PDS Venture Tech, the venture arm of PDS Limited, has already invested in a raft of businesses – from Materra to Good on You, Unspun, and many more. Could you be their next investment? The PDS Innovation Awards is your opportunity to pitch to the PDS investment team, plus benefit from promotion to the 50k+ Common Objective fashion industry base.

For the purpose of the awards, the judging panel considers sustainability to encompass positive impact for people, as well as addressing environmental concerns.

How it works

By completing the application form below and creating a CO business profile, you enter the competition to win a chance to pitch in front of the PDS investment team. In this process, the CO team will pre-screen a shortlist of the most innovative and exciting start-ups. Out of these, PDS will select a few that will be invited to pitch. Judging these pitches, PDS will select a winner to be considered for investment or other support from PDS.

All shortlisted applicants will benefit from promotion across the CO platform. All applicants benefit from creating a free business profile on CO, and joining the global industry community dedicated to sustainability best practice. 

Who can apply

For your business to be eligible for the awards, you must:

What’s in it for you

Judging criteria

Judges will be looking for the following:

Innovation led business models


Application process

To finish your application, please complete the following 2 steps:

Applications can only be considered if both steps have been completed by the deadline: 30th June 2022.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social channels for more events and opportunities for you and your business!

Apply Now: The Backroom Pitch!

Applications for The Backroom Pitch are now closed.

Are you a fashion or fashion-tech startup focusing on sustainability? Looking to raise £250K and above over the next 6-12 months? Apply to The Backroom Pitch to be in with the chance of pitching your business to VCs and leading investors!

Fashion District is hosting The Backroom Pitch in Stratford on Tuesday 19 July, 18:00 – 20:30, where selected businesses will pitch to a panel of VCs and investors, all interested in new sustainable solutions that tackle the critical issues of the fashion industry.

Joining us on the day will be Diarra Smith and investors from Ascension Ventures, Backed VC, Bethnal Green Ventures, Conduit Connect, Fuel Ventures, Nesta, Speedinvest, PDS Ventures, Alma Angels and many more!

The diverse line-up of investors will be looking for businesses that are focused on any part of the fashion value chain including (but not limited to):

If your solution aims to innovate the fashion industry, to help it become more circular, more sustainable, more ethical, we would love to hear from you.

In between pitching, the selected businesses will be able to network with other founders, fashion professionals and entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss!

Application Process + Eligibility

To be in with the chance of pitching at The Backroom Pitch, please complete the application form below by Sunday 10 July, midnight.

Applications will be selected based on the following criteria:

We are committed to diversity and inclusion and strongly encourage applications from founders that are women, black, POC, and other underrepresented communities.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with us at

All applicants will receive the outcome of their application by 12 July.

Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on The Backroom Pitch and more exciting opportunities and events:

Fashion District: Investment Event Series

Fashion District’s first ever investment event series is coming to you on April 7. Taking place at The Lab E20, these events will give you the chance to connect with fashion professionals and investors, partake in workshops, and find out about new businesses and innovations launching in the fashion space.

We’re collaborating with experts in communication, investment and innovation to help upgrade your pitching skills and guide you on the next steps in your business journey. Find out how to make moves towards your career aspirations and secure the funding you deserve! 

Sign up to any of our free events below: 

Pitching Workshops with Amy Tez
12:00 – 14:00 | 14:30 – 16:30

Keen to brush up on your pitching skills? Communication strategist Amy Tez has got you covered. Join her workshop to learn how to influence your audience through the power of storytelling, command a room – both online and offline – and unite your peers behind a shared goal.

During this interactive workshop, you’ll be given a safe space to share your unique strengths and gaps, whilst gaining tailored advice on how to raise your game and escalate impact.

Unlike standard business training, Amy’s process is rooted in solid actor and storytelling techniques, as well as in performance psychology to get you communicating with far greater clarity and power.

1:1 Investment Clinics
15-minute sessions | 15:30 – 17:30

Fashion startups can book a 15-minute slot with investment and innovation experts to receive personalised advice on the next steps in their business journey. This is the perfect opportunity to gain insider tips and guidance from industry pros, find out how to get the funding you need to succeed.

Don’t miss out! Book your free 1:1 slot now with one of the following experts:

Jonathan Chippindale
Chairman of the London Fashion Fund and CEO of Holition, the renowned creative innovation studio, Jonathan is helping to shape the future of the industry. As well as acting as a Digital Advisor to the British Fashion Council and Innovation Advisor to Tate, Jonathan is a founding member of the London College of Fashion Digital Think Tank and advisor to the University of Cambridge Digital Compass Group.

Shanaya Curtis
Currently the Senior Equity Fundraising Manager at Crowdcube – one of Britain’s most popular crowdfunding platforms – Shanaya is primarily focused on sourcing and building relationships with Europe’s leading private companies. Her role entails advising start-ups and scale-ups on sources of investment and their ability to crowdfund.

Abi Mohamed
Abi is the Libra Programme Lead at Tech Nation, the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups. With years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad, Abi leads on The Libra Programme – the newest growth programme for early-stage underrepresented founders scaling in the UK. Having previously worked as software engineer, Abi is also the co-founder of Community Growth Venture, an angel investor group based in the UK. 

Mandy Nyarko
Mandy is the co-founder of Startup Discovery School, an innovation consultancy that develops programmes for public and private organisations in the U.K that are focused on building sustainability startups. Aside from being an Angel Investor and Venture Partner at Ada Ventures, a 50M VC fund focusing on investing in overlooked founders, Mandy also serves as an advisor on the SME action board to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Alexander Shapiro
Alexander works as an Investment Manager at The Conduit Connect, an investing company that scales innovative technologies and businesses that are solving challenging issues. Having obtained an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics, Alexander has years of experience advising clients in the public sector on strategies to nurture impact focused businesses. 

Hannah Williamson
As an Investment Manager at Edge VC, Hannah focuses on deal flow generation and execution, particularly focusing on retail tech and content businesses. Previously, Hannah worked at the online retailer ASOS within the operational side of the business. Hannah holds a first-class honours degree in Fashion and Textile Management from Nottingham Trent University.

Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening
18:00 – 20:00

For our Pitcha Kucha investment evening, we are spotlighting 8 fashion startups and offering them the chance to pitch their hearts out to a panel of investors and industry experts. Join us for a fun, laidback evening where you can watch the most exciting emerging fashion businesses practice their pitching and receive quick-fire, friendly feedback.

The chosen fashion startups are each tackling key challenges in the fashion value chain with a variety of solutions spanning retail tech, manufacturing tech, materials innovation and experiential / digital technologies. This is the perfect chance to learn about emerging businesses and innovations that are entering the fashion space, whilst connecting with innovators, investors, designers, makers and entrepreneurs.

We’ll have a DJ on hand to bring The Lab E20 alive so, come along, grab a drink, and get to know like-minded individuals at the forefront of the industry – you do not want to miss this!

Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening: Expressions of Interest

UPDATE: Please note that expressions of interest are now closed for this event.

If you want to be in with the chance of pitching to our panel of investment and innovation experts at the Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening, we are currently still accepting expressions of interest to take part.

Check out our previous article to find out more, or simply fill in the EOI form by midnight on Monday 21st March to be in with a chance of pitching at the Pitcha Kucha Investment Evening.


The London Fashion Fund is currently open to expressions of interest from fashion and biotech start-ups to close their latest round of investment. EOI’s will be assessed across five different criteria:

Must be working across one aspect of the fashion supply chain, from design to manufacture, supply chain, or retail.

Should be 2 – 3 years in operation, with at least one tenured member of staff, and ideally progessing from an incubator or accelerator

Must have a clear USP, be innovative and globally minded, demonstrating traction and growth

Seeking investment in order to scale e.g. to grow you team, to enter new markets, to manufacture commercially

Core business strategy including financial, social and sustainable values

If you meet these criteria, the London Fashion Fund would love to hear from you! To find out more and to send your expression of interest here.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is Friday 19th February 2021.


London Fashion Fund has already invested in 8 fashion and tech start-ups in this round of investment. Learn more about the awardees and how they are innovating in the fashion and tech space below.

The businesses that we have supported have one thing in common; extremely bright and talented founders who are passionate about changing the fashion industry into an industry that is both creative and responsible in every way. They are inspiring and forward thinking, and have surprised and delighted us.

Jane Shepherdson, LFF Director; Fashion Industry & Retail Advisor

BEEN London

BEEN London is a sustainable accessories brand that rescues materials from landfill and handcrafts them into beautiful, useful bags that are made to last.

Clothes Doctor

Extends the life of clothing by repairing and upcycling at their own workshop, by experienced seamstresses & produces a range of natural, plastic-free luxury clothing care products.

Compare Ethics

Compare Ethics is the technology platform that verifies sustainable products, establishing trust and transparency between consumers and fashion businesses.


Good Cotton doesn’t have to cost the Earth. HydroCotton is a technology company pioneering climate resilient cotton agriculture for the 21st Century.

KAPDAA – The Offcut Company

Kapdaa works with Fashion Designers to turn their offcuts into quality branded products, saving 7400 meters of fabric each year from landfill.


Own-Kind combines the luxury of personal styling with the convenience of online. Give or receive Styling advice and digitise your wardrobe, on the free App.

Nuw Wardrobe

Nuw is an app to share and swap clothes to extend the life-cycle of the clothes we buy in order to reduce our collective fashion carbon footprint.


Founded on a fundamental belief that no bridesmaids dress should be worn only once, Rewritten produce innovative styles, that mix & match, in bold colours with flattering silhouettes that can be worn again and again.


Are you running a successful business in the fashion, textiles and/or related technology sector and have an idea that you think could take your company and the industry sector to the next level?

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology R&D SME Support Programme seeks to provide a targeted range of funding, mentoring, support and wide-ranging expertise to help small and medium size businesses turn bright ideas into viable and sustainable commercial propositions.

Approximately £2 million pound’s worth of research and development investment is available through the ambitious programme, which seeks to establish 15 programme partnerships.

Each shortlisted applicant for the partnerships will be provided with bespoke business development support to help them refine their ideas and turn them into viable R&D proposals. Then applicants will be invited to pitch their proposal for an award of funding and the opportunity to be mentored by leading industry and academic partners throughout the duration of the programme.

Each partnership will be considered for an approximate award value between £80,000 and £175,000, for projects lasting up to 30 months – depending on the specific need of the project.

This Funding Call is looking to support SMEs in the development of the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors – with sustainability at their core.

SMEs with innovative concepts, or companies already working at the early stages of testing a prototype product or service in the market place are eligible to apply. Your ideas may be at an early stage, and to be successful may benefit from support across a range of specialist fields, including: new materials design; novel technologies; new applications for existing technologies; innovative business and retail models.

The programme is currently open to expressions of interest, deadline to apply is May 28th 2019. Find more details of the programme and the form to apply below.

Applications are now closed.