Home Estate Planning London tech scale-up Unmade acquired by clothes manufacturer Hi-Tech Apparel

London tech scale-up Unmade acquired by clothes manufacturer Hi-Tech Apparel

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London-based software company Unmade, has been acquired by global garment manufacturer Hi-Tech Apparel. 

The deal, valued at 10 times the company revenue, will see Unmade, which is working to solve fast fashion’s problems though tech-enabled customised clothing on demand, work with Hi-Tech to automate the fashion industry.

This comes amid increasing demand for both sustainable and on-demand fashion. 

Unmade has the “potential to change an industry known for waste through mass production and mass consumption”, Conor Scanlan, investor at Octopus Ventures said. “Unmade’s demand-driven manufacturing solution represents a bright future for fashion.”

Unmade’s technology enables brands to turn designs into “manufacturing ready data”, which upends the traditional fast fashion ethos of producing huge order batches and lowers minimum order quantities.

The fast fashion industry contributed 1.92m tonnes of waste last year, with about 92 per cent of all garments produced going to landfill, according to the Earth Organisation. It has also been slammed for environmental concerns about emissions and workers’ rights.

Both companies aim to create a “digital, demand-driven supply chain” on a large scale, co-founder and chief executive officer of Unmade, Hal Watts, said, adding that he wanted the apparel industry to work in a more “on-demand and sustainable way”. 

Hi-Tech Apparel is a global fashion manufacturer based in Thailand, which operates 13 sites across South East Asia.  

“We’re extremely proud of the business and grateful to the team who built it over the last decade, in particular Ursula Davie, Simon Rea, and the founders who started out with me, pushing the apparel industry to work in a more on-demand and sustainable way,” Watts said. 

“Unmade perfectly aligns with Hi-Tech Apparel’s mission to build the digital infrastructure needed to achieve manufacturing distribution across multiple geographies in a demand-driven industry,” Wason Vitanakorn, CEO of Hi-Tech Apparel said, adding that their software is able to ” give our customers the responsiveness they demand.”

Pierre Vernet, Investment Director of Decathlon, said: “Decathlon first invested in Unmade in 2021 and believes enormously in the need for an independent, open platform that can serve our industry as it goes through unprecedented change in terms of customer expectations and speed to market needs. We look forward to building on the solid foundations and remaining as a key partner as we look to a bright future.

High street fast fashion brands have faced mounting losses as customers switch to more convenient and cheaper online clothing brands.

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