Sustainable fashion

Circularity Capital takes majority stake in ACS

Andrew Rough, ACS, Andrew Shannon, Circularity Capital

Specialist Scottish fund manager Circularity Capital has taken a majority stake in Advanced Clothing Solutions (ACS), which has emerged as a key player in the clothes rental market.

The boutique Edinburgh manager has provided £10 million to the Lanarkshire-based business – its largest capital injection to date.

Set up in 1997, ACS has the largest laundry facility in Scotland and initially operated in the formalwear hire sector. Lockdown in 2020 saw it re-focus on servicing the emerging market for renting everyday clothing.

Working with brands and retailers such as Moss Bros, Slaters Menswear, Monsoon and LK Bennett, it provides a rental, subscription and resale fulfilment service, and has storage for more than three million items of clothing.

ACS said it wants to transform the fashion industry from the “take-make-dispose” model toward a circular fashion model that extends the life of existing textiles and diverts clothing from landfill.

It has capacity to handle more than six million garments annually at its 19,000sq metre facility in Eurocentral. It will use the new funding to invest in its operations and explore options for a second facility in Europe.

Chief executive Andrew Rough said: “This strategic partnership recognises our objective of creating one of Europe’s largest circular fashion solutions providers specialising in clothing rental, subscription and resale,” he said.

Circularity Capital was established in 2015 to deliver value for investors by supporting growth and innovation in the circular economy.

Andrew Shannon, founding partner, added: “The average European throws away 11kg of textiles every year, and around the world a truckload of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second.

“ACS provides the capabilities and processes to enable retailers to scale their rental, subscription and resale ambitions with ease, transforming the industry from a traditional take-make-dispose model to one of reuse and resale.”

“The investment from Circularity Capital will support the further expansion of ACS’ enabling solution to meet demand of a growing fashion rental industry.”

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