Fashion Project Raises $1.8 Million

Left to right, Fashion Project co-founders Christine Rizk and Anna Palmer

A pair of female founders has raised $1.8 in seed funding for their social entrepreneurship startup.

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Recently here on Women 2.0 we rounded up a list of female social entrepreneurs to watch. Among those women doing incredible things was Christine Rizk, co-founder of Fashion Project, a startup that lets women donate designer clothes or purchase them secondhand with a large chunk of the profits going to charity.

It turns out that Rizk and her co-founder Anna Palmer were indeed worth keeping an eye on – they just raised $1.8 million in seed funding from Atlas Ventures, High Peak Ventures, Schooner Capital, and other angel investors.

As TechCrunch reports, the site caught investors’ interest because it solves a trio of problems with charitable donations of high-end goods:

For starters, donors who spend top dollar on their items don’t want to toss the goods in a trash bag and leave them at a thrift shop or Goodwill, for example. They’re also not that interested in the tax write-off aspect of thrifting, because donors are only able to claim the sale price of a donated item which is typically low.

On Fashion Project, however, items resell for over 7 times more than a thrift store, on average – a price point designed to help encourage more donations. And for charities in need, it offers them another way to compete for dollars, by instead benefitting from the items’ sales.

What will Palmer and Rizk use the money for? “The company will use the funding to help with growth. It’s preparing to launch a new website this month, which will be mobile-optimized. Around the same time, the company will announce participation from some high-profile fashion industry players, too, likely joining as celeb donors. Native mobile apps are also on the longer-term roadmap for the company,” according to TechCrunch.

Women 2.0 readers: Do you have any designer items gathering dust in your closet?

Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @entrylevelrebel.