Banco de Tecido

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Banco de Tecido: Fabric for Reuse and Use

São Paulo, BrazilSão Paulo e Curitiba, Brazil
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Banco de Tecido is a physical space (and digital/online) that provides diverse fabrics, where anybody can deposit, withdraw and buy kilograms of the chosen fabrics. 





WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

There were no fabric in the landfills? What if you had a place where you could take your fabric leftovers in exchange for the access to tons of fabrics for reuse, available for exchange or purchase?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Tons of fabrics are wasted every year around the world. The leftovers become garbage and contaminate the environment. The panorama of reuse and recycling of textile waste is still very restricted. In this way, the disposal of this material become the only solution for most people. Most of what is thrown away could still be used. Our focus is to find a sustainable solution that promotes the reduction of the environmental impact.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The question we ask ourselves is: how can we avoid that this fabric, that can still be used, goes to the landfill? We would have to reinsert, as least part of it, into the textile production chain. Thus we arrived at a INTEGREATED SYSTEM OF CIRCULATION (physical stores and a digital platform). The solution that the propose is based on two forms of commercial transaction, first, the sale of fabrics per kilogram for a fair and standard price (R$35,00). Second, is the accountholder system, in which anybody can deposit an amount of fabrics, which will be measured in kilograms. The weight of fabrics that was deposited becomes a credit that the accountholder can use to withdraw other fabrics. We charge a tariff in kilograms, of 25% at each deposit, this fabric is sold for money instead of kilograms of fabric, which allows the economic sustainability of the initiative.


We were finalists (ranked as 2nd) as digital platform design at FIESP's HACKATHON in 2015, which's theme was creative and shared economy.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Today, after only 12 months working, without investing in media or publicizing, working only with social media, we are more than 150 accountholders who deposit and withdraw fabrics regularly. In terms of regular clients that use the Banco de Tecido, this number triples. Many brands with a sustainable approach began to use reused fabrics, many manufacturers are using this system for inventory turnover. Fashion students are designing their exercises inspired by the fabric diversity at Banco. Overall, more than selling and trading fabrics, we believe that our mission is to build the circular habit of resources, not accumulating, but sharing. We reactivate value instead of wasting.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The positive impact occurs mainly by decreasing the amount of textile residue that is disposed at landfills and other garbage destinations, and by encouraging the use of textile leftovers for creations of amateurs and professionals of the fashion, sewing and crafts sectors. With this continuous action we hope to decrease significantly the amount of fabrics disposed inappropriately.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In the future, we see Banco de Tecido as a mixed system - physical and digital - that gathers numerous connected and independent units spread all over the world, where each one of them maintains, at the same time, its geographical and cultural characteristics and the working principles of Banco. We also see an immense community that is united by the pleasure of sharing the knowledge about fabrics and its production, from the big company with its deposits of past inventories to the old lady with her bag of leftover fabrics, all will have room for their supplies and demands.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Banco de Tecido's system has various monetizing possibilities. Its base is the sale of fabrics that were collected when accountholders make deposits. The expansion of physical units generates revenue and the online platform expands the network, thus generating a strong monetization. However, it is very clear from our previous statements that without financial health we don't have sustainability, and without ethics and financial creativity, we don't have a business.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many serious initiatives that are searching for solutions for the textile waste disposal, but the leftovers in Brazil are distributed to NGOs and communities in an isolated way, it is still rare. Up to date, we do not know any initiatives that work with the systematization and valuing of fabric leftovers. We also don't know of any initiatives that work with the circulation of fabric as credits and selling it by a standard and fair price. We don't know of any online platform that provide an organizational tool for choosing a fabric, which at the same time optimizes the creation and the marketplace.

Founding Story

Banco de Tecido was created when the scenographer and costume designer Lu Bueno found that she had around 600 kilograms of fabric with different colors, patterns and sizes, accumulated over 20 years of work at the movie, theater and television industries. Searching for a way to deal with this material, she began an exchange program among her friends, which became a solution to reutilize what was stored and not being used. In this process, she understood that this problem was not exclusive to the performing arts, but also of all the textile market. Since then, many friends are adhering to this initiative. Everybody asks how she had this idea and she always answers "I did not have the idea, the idea got me!"


We are more than 150 if we consider all the accountholders, because they are indeed the curators of our fabrics. But in order to make this system work, we organically formed a team of professionals that were enthusiastic about the project, they identified themselves with the proposal and accepted this challenge. At this moment we are: Marcela Starlling and Luciana Arruda - mentors and juridical assessors, always ready for a good deal, and responsible for the expansion of the physical units. The deliberative (and executive) council comprises fours professionals: Gilberto Araújo for the Financial Planning, Mateus Piveta for Marketing and Communications, Bruno Rodrigues for Operations Strategy and Lu Bueno as Founder and Creative Manager. All these professionals are committed with the current and future management of our business. Therefore, we are all associates, each one with their own specialty. We also have Henrique Cabral and Diogo Hayashi, who are responsible for the units e Casa Base and Lab Fashion. They understood the proposal and brought to their own houses the boxes of fabrics. Andressa Burgos works at the LUPA unit, she is the main connoisseur of our clients and accountholders, their preferences and needs. This year new team members are joining us. Fernanda Meireles is a business consultant focused on manufacturer, her job will be to systematize how Banco de Tecido works and open new opportunities by doing a market research focused on the textile chain waste. Vitor Hugo Bruxel is an executive of operations who will be responsible for implementing the platform B2B together with the physical stores expansion. In the next months, lead by Murillo Alcântara, we will choose the team/company that will be responsible for developing our digital platform based on the current model that was developed during the FIESP Hackathon. As partners who support and believe in our initiative, we have the following companies: EcoSimple (manufacturer that works 100% with recycled fabrics), Flávia Aranha who is the fashion designer for a brand with her name and who works only with fabrics with natural dyes. Our oldest partner is Mariana Pellicciari, who represents Roupa Livre, we have always shared advices for each other regarding the most diverse topics in this journey. She is a great interlocutor for reflections about sustainability, responsible fashion, consumption awareness, collaborative and creative economy.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Retail Representative - Specialty Store.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Consumers, Designers, Factory Owners, Trading Companies, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Accountability, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Recycling or Circular Economy, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Certification, Organizing.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Yes, by continuously engaging in the exchange by the accountholder system. Also by promoting the inauguration of new units.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

We collaborate with the textile chain by promoting contact of various agents such as: Industry, manufacturers and small artisans