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Russell ready to face TV dragons for second time

Cally Russell
Cally Russell: on a mission to change the fashion sector’s waste record

Retail entrepreneur Cally Russell will be making a second appearance on Dragons’ Den next week when he appeals for cash to support his sustainable fashion business Unfolded.

The Edinburgh-based businessman behind the shopping app Mallzee and the retail analytics business Mallzee Insights is aiming to reduce waste in the industry.

Last October he announced he had raised £1.2 million for Unfolded in a round led by Techstart Ventures with Solid Bond, FJ Labs, Sweetspot Capital, Pareto Holdings, participating alongside angel investors.

Now he wants to tap the television investors for more cash in the hope that they will buy into his mission.

“I was on Dragons’ Den back in 2015 and said no to Peter Jones investing in our last business,” he said.

Mr Russell founded shopping business Mallzee and built a consumer app to 1.5m downloads, partnering with enterprise-scale retailers to help them improve their product selection process with data generated from its apps.

His passion for sustainability drove him to support third world workers who lost their livelihoods when the pandemic hit in 2020. Brands cancelled more than $2 billion dollars worth of clothes orders with factories that were mainly in developing countries.

This left workers without jobs and hundreds of millions of pieces of clothing destined for landfill.

In response, Mr Russell and business partner Callum Stuart launched Lost Stock – selling the clothes cancelled by big brands and retailers to consumers to help garment workers impacted by these cancellations. In seven months they had 125,000 orders and supported more than 113,000 people for a month each in Bangladesh.

Sustainable clothing brand This Is Unfolded continues this new way of shopping by taking excess stock out of the equation.

Research shows that as much as 30% of new clothing, made every year, is never sold.

Unfolded makes clothes without this waste by designing every item in conjunction with thousands of shoppers and then only producing after orders are taken.

It has developed a factory-to-consumer supply chain working with some of the largest global logistic companies.

By removing the waste from clothing production Unfolded creates significant margin improvements, which are shared between offering consumers sustainable clothes at affordable prices, higher wages for workers and funding children around their factories to learn to read and write.

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