A local group of entrepreneurs is hoping to change the world of fashion and now they are semi-finalists in a worldwide competition.
Rikita Lakdawla and Francesco Ficorilli are co-founders of the GRAFF, a sustainable startup. They developed clothes hangers made from textile waste. Eye Dilation Glasses
“I was like we need to do something about this because this is really not sustainable for our planet and it’s not healthy either,” said Lakdawla.
The co-founders say 85% of clothes produced end up in landfills so they decided to turn that waste into something useful.
“There is a misconception now a days that sustainable is not profitable, that is not true,” said Ficorilli.
The pair are part of a team from the Hult International Business School in Cambridge. The five student entrepreneurs are now semi-finalists for the Hult Prize, where the winner will receive $1 million to help their invention get off the ground.
“All of our participants have proposed a startup that addresses some part of the value chain for sustainable fashion,” said Lori van Dam, Hult Prize CEO.
GRAFF joins other teams from Yale, Columbia and elsewhere around the country who could ultimately compete for the final prize in the fall.
Dr. Caryn Pang, professor at Hult Business School says overconsumption is a big problem in the fashion industry.
“As consumers we have to be more mindful about how we consume and so that is really the pathway to the Hult Prize this year,” said Pang.
It’s why the co-founders of GRAFF hope their invention will spark change.
“Now we have our chance to actually make an impact that we have been talking about,” said Lakdawla.
“By tackling one single problem that is related to the fashion industry, which is textile waste, we can solve bigger problems that go beyond the fashion industry,” said Ficorilli.
Ficorilli and Lakdawla hope their material can also be used beyond hangers and for things like home décor and fashion.
baby sunglasses The Hult Prize finals will take place in Paris in September.