Circle Sportswear, a sustainable clothing brand based in France, announced that it has raised 2.5 million euros of funding.
The money will be used to hire more experienced marketers and salespeople, increase the wholesale company and extend into other areas, such as the United States, and continue material research and development, particularly in plant-based fibers.
Cofounder Romain Trébuil wanted to combine his desire to work toward a circular economy and a personal passion for sports after working for five years at L'Oréal in various positions ranging from human resources to buying and founding cloud-based talent platform Yoss, which was later sold to human resources firm Adecco.
Circle Sportswear, which will be launched in March 2020 on the community fundraising platform Ululule, is based on Trébuil's belief that "sportswear is ubiquitous, but everyone is doing the same thing, producing in Asia from petrol-based materials," as he put it.
Trébuil said that the lockdown served as a catalyst for the principles they support. People began to question where and by whom their clothes were made, just as they did with food.
Trébuil launched the brand with Alex Auroux, a former general manager of health club aggregator Classpass, and Solène Roure, a designer who has worked for Hogan, Alexander McQueen, Nike, and Lululemon.
Trébuil, pointing out that 20 percent of its business was already done internationally and said that they're striving for robust growth backed by their sustainability and circularity credentials because that's how they'll have the most impact.
The London-based venture capital fund AA & Sons, created by Romain Afflelou, a son of the French eyeglasses retail dynasty Alain Afflelou, as well as individual investors, are among the investors in this second funding round.
In the future, the brand's expansion into new territories is planned for 2023. The company has already partnered with SoulCycle ahead of its major launch in the United States. Trébuil believes that getting freshly created materials into the hands of people is the greatest approach to persuade them and generate interest.
However, creating and selling items is only a small fraction of the task at hand. It is material development. Currently, the company relies on regenerated materials like Econyl polyamide and Newlife polyester, as well as organically certified lyocell manufactured from wood fibers.
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