Eco-friendly clothes care business secures £500,000 CIOSIF Investment
Sustainable clothing care business, Clothes Doctor is the latest company to be supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).
The Truro based business has secured a £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment, as part of a £1 million funding round led by appointed CIOSIF fund manager, The FSE Group.
The round includes investment from start-up accelerator Founders Factory, Childs Farm founder and CEO, Joanna Jensen, and new and existing private investors. The funding will be used to employ an additional 14 members of staff over the next three years.
Originally a service-focused clothing repair business, Clothes Doctor has evolved following high levels of demand, to create and supply eco-conscious laundry care products. Their premium detergents and other ranges are some of the very few products on the market that do not use palm oil or plastic and are plant/mineral derived.
The company’s eco-credentials make it an increasingly popular choice which is backed up by high quality ingredients and beautiful scents courtesy of pure essential oils. The laundry products, which come in distinctive recyclable aluminum bottles, are already sold across five continents and in stores such as Ocado, Harrods, Net-a-Porter and Whistles, and are often used as an alternative to expensive dry cleaning.
To continue their growth both in the UK and overseas, Clothes Doctor will hire new team members into their sales, operations, creative, workshop, PR & marketing, product development, finance and export teams.
Lulu O’Connor, Founder at Clothes Doctor, commented: “Loving your clothes for longer is our company ethos. Our parents and grandparents knew how to care for their clothes and made them last so much longer than we do today. If people extended the life of their clothes by just nine months they would reduce the carbon, water and landfill footprint of their wardrobe by a staggering 30%. We are delighted to be developing our business so that more people are able to use our vegan products to wash, repair and care for clothes, in the hopes that an undeniable and long-term difference will be made to the sustainability of the fashion sector.”
Meg Salt, Investment Manager, Cornwall at The FSE Group, added: “The all-female team which heads up Clothes Doctor are experts in their field and are full of determination and enthusiasm for what they do. This shows not just in the quality of their product but in the growth they have achieved to date. The effect plastics and other products are having on our world means that there will always be a place for eco-friendly solutions and Lulu and her team are scaling up to ensure that their excellent products are part of the answer to the fast fashion crisis. We very much look forward to seeing where the future takes Clothes Doctor.”
Paul Jones, Senior Investment Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted to be investing in another sustainably-minded Cornish business and to have helped leverage significant additional funding to enable Clothes Doctor grow and create quality jobs in Cornwall.”
John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Clothes Doctor is all about bringing sustainability to the fashion industry by encouraging all of us to care for clothes for longer. The fund’s investment will help drive a larger audience for this ‘slow fashion’ revolution and we wish Lulu and the team well.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2