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U.K. brand Urbanic raises $150M for socially responsible fashion

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Urbanic, a London-based fashion brand, closed a $150 million Series C round, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Brands like Urbanic are increasingly tethering their business models to socially responsible initiatives in a bid for Gen Z consumer dollars.

Details: Investors include Switzerland-based Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, New York-based public-private hybrid investment firm D1 Capital Partners, JAM Fund, and other global investors and family owners of European luxury fashion brands.

  • Previous backers include Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital.
  • Proceeds will be invested in the "expansion of technology-driven and socially-responsible fashion designs," in addition to accelerating growth.

How it works: Urbanic utilizes AI and machine learning-based models, in combination with its large language (LLM) model, to produce fashion designs and creative content and to improve its supply chain efficiency.

What they're saying: "We launched Urbanic in 2019 with the simple idea that clothing does not need to be expensive to be differentiated, stylish and socially responsible," Urbanic partner James Wellwood said in a statement.

Catch up fast: To date, the company has raised $16 million, per PitchBook.

Zoom in: The company's socially responsible initiatives include Urbanic Oasis, a collaboration with NGO Florestas Inteligentes to plant one million trees in Latin America.

  • Urbanic also has a collaboration with Earthangels Welfare Foundation to teach English to children in economically underdeveloped areas, it says.
  • Additionally, the company is working with Pequeños Hermanos Mexico, a non-profit that provides education to underprivileged youth, and it's exploring using biodegradable and recycled materials for packaging.
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