Unmade, a software platform that helps fashion brands offer customizable clothes, has announced a $4 million round of funding led by Felix Capital, with participation from Connect Ventures, LocalGlobe, Carmen Busquets, Backed VC, and C4 Ventures.
Founded out of London in 2013, the on-demand garment startup was originally known as Knyttan before it rebranded as Unmade in late 2015. In a nutshell, Unmade’s platform links to a brand’s production processes, including industrial machines, and helps connect consumers with the brand so they can tweak a particular item’s design to their own preferences.
A shopper may fine-tune a pattern through the brand’s website by dragging their finger over the image, or they can manually select options to switch the main pattern and collar colors around, for example. Unmade’s factory order management system (OMS) automatically generates the manufacturing files for the custom order — without requiring any manual input from the brand or manufacturer.
Customization is only one element of Unmade’s core selling promise, however. By catering to on-demand clothes creation, it’s also designed to support a more sustainable business, so that brands only produce garments that are actually sold. In other words, it helps ensure that supply meets demand rather than surpassing it.
This kind of on-demand manufacturing has caught the attention of others in the technology realm, such as Amazon, which was awarded a patent last year for a similar-sounding system that produces clothing, and potentially other products, after an order is placed.
And in the broader $12 trillion manufacturing industry, we’re also seeing a push toward optimized and less wasteful facilities powered by automation and analytics — Atomico recently led a $10 million investment in Oden Technologies to create smarter factories using big data.
Unmade has now raised a total of $6.7 million, and with its latest cash injection it plans to grow its business across “multiple brands, factories, and geographies,” according to a statement issued by the company.
So far, Unmade has focused solely on knitwear, but alongside today’s funding announcement the startup revealed that it’s expanding the scope of its business through a partnership with cycling wear company Rapha Racing.
“Now working with three of America’s top 10 fashion brands, who generate billions in annual revenue, we strive to be an integral part in building a more sustainable and tech-enabled fashion ecosystem through on-demand manufacturing and customization,” said Unmade cofounder and CEO Hal Watts.