The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation, in partnership with Ryerson University, announced three new Canadian fashion-inspired startups will join the Centre.
"We are pleased to welcome our fourth cohort of entrepreneurs, Authentic or Not, Nudnik and Omi Woods, to the Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation," said Ian Freedman, president, Joe Fresh. "Their unique talent and business propositions will be a great addition to the Centre, and we hope they will benefit meaningfully from the Centre's network of support. We look forward to supporting them in their entrepreneurial pursuits in the year ahead."
"The fourth cohort of innovators showcases not only tech innovation with Authentic or Not's hardware plus Software as a Service business model, but also the product and social innovations of both Nudnik and Omi Woods," said Robert Ott, co-chair of the Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation. "Together with Joe Fresh, we are working with fashion innovators to provide them with guidance to navigate the Canadian and global entrepreneurial landscapes."
The three new Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovators include:
Nudnik, founded by twin sisters Alexandra and Lindsay Larusso, is a unisex kids clothing line (3 months - 3 years) that not only combats the growing global waste problem, but actively seeks to help solve it. With a combined 20 years in the waste management industry, each garment is sourced from upcycled fabrics, hand silk-screened, and cut and sewn locally in Toronto.
Authentic or Not
Authentic or Not, founded by Ahmer Beg, is a fashion technology company that has created a patented microchip that can be seamlessly embedded into products. With the use of a smartphone customers can hover over such merchandise to confirm product authenticity and receive a customized digital experience instantaneously.
Omi Woods, founded by Ashley Alexis McFarlane, is a special occasion clothing line that explores and reimagines traditional African prints into timeless silhouettes. The brand embraces ethical low pact production practices, including eco-friendly dyes and zero waste. Omi Woods designers were recently featured in InStyle, Vanity Fair, Essence and E! News.
Exclusive benefits for the Joe Fresh Innovators include:
Access to collective startup funding up to $50,000 at the end of the program
Mentorship with Joe Fresh executives, Ryerson academics, and industry advisors
Networking opportunities with Ryerson Futures, DMZ and Fashion Zone companies
Access to the DMZ and Fashion Zone at Ryerson University
Eligible marketing and promotion expenses up to $5,000 per innovator
Academic Zone Learning credit from Ryerson University following completion of the program
Unique showcasing opportunities
Dedicated office space in The Joe Fresh Centre