How to level up your sustainable fashion business

By Fashion Revolution

7 months ago

We are on the hunt for forward-thinking SMEs across the fashion supply chain and product lifecycle, from design to resale. 

In the smallest places, we can often find the most innovative solutions. We don’t have to rely on big business for systemic change in the fashion industry. We all want to build a circular fashion system that puts the people who make our clothes at the core – and we need your help.

As part of our ongoing Small But Perfect project, we’re inviting sustainable fashion SMEs everywhere to be part of our brand new business network in collaboration with Common Objective.This digital hub will host everything you need to level up your sustainability and circularity strategies, designed for small businesses to collaborate rather than compete, and replicate rather than scale. The network facilitates cross-border collaboration which supports the transfer of knowledge, skills, support and best practice. Members will be able access a vast library of tools and resources, plus workshops, networking, mentoring and more to help them level up sustainable and circular business models.

Impactful, lasting change within the fashion industry can only be achieved through an industry-wide shift from building business models based upon growth, to creating a fairer, more equitable industry that puts sustainability at its core. We believe that small businesses are fundamental to a more sustainable fashion system. That’s why the Small But Perfect network focuses on community, not competition, inviting SMEs from around the world to connect, collaborate, and share resources.


“Running a sustainability-focused SME in the fashion industry is no easy task. With the right backing, impact driven SMEs will become catalysts for a better way of doing business. We are proud to be a part of this project and support the leaders and pioneers in circular and sustainable fashion.” –  Tamsin Lejeune, CEO, Common Objective


The need for systems change in fashion

The Small But Perfect project was founded on the basis that without changing the system, we cannot expect changes made – at any level – to be truly sustainable. If fashion has to adopt a new narrative, one that allows for more responsible use of sources, every stakeholder needs to play their part.

To accelerate the work of SMEs, the wider system of business support such as fashion weeks, industry bodies, accelerators and fashion districts also need to be aligned to the focus on environmental, social and financial sustainability. Supporting regulatory instruments and policies is also a key enabler, as per the findings of Mapping Sustainable Opportunities for SMEs (European Commission, 2019).

Accelerating the accelerators

Small but Perfect will ‘accelerate the accelerators’ by working alongside business support organisations to embed circularity, social and environmental sustainability into support and showcasing initiatives. Over the course of the project, partners will run workshops and events for organisations that offer support to SMEs.

Additionally, it will ‘accelerate the policymakers’ by mapping the policy landscape that affects sustainable and circular fashion SMEs, ensuring a lasting impact is made across the fashion industry from start to finish.

Over its 30 month duration, the project will develop a network of stakeholders from across the industry that can exchange knowledge, learnings and best practices to effect wider systemic change in the fashion SME sector.

Project Partners

The Small But Perfect project partners include Athens University of Business and Economics, World Fair Trade Organisation, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Bocconi University, Impact Hub Lisbon, Fashion Revolution and We Love You Communications. Common Objective, University of Portsmouth and Neoynt are supporting partners.

Find out more about each partner and connect with their team members in the Small But Perfect Hub.