A New Sustainable Accelerator Wants to Elevate Dominican Designers: ‘The Next Center of the Global Fashion Industry’

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Sustainable fashion technology platform Resonance has launched a new program to elevate designers from the Dominican Republic.

Resonance, a pioneering sustainable fashion technology platform, has unveiled its latest initiative, Amplify, aimed at propelling the careers of 20 emerging designers from the Dominican Republic. With the goal of cultivating a new wave of fashion talent, Amplify serves as an accelerator program providing critical support to help these designers establish profitable and sustainable businesses.

The accelerator program emerges from Resonance’s commitment to advancing the careers of fashion designers worldwide. This initiative builds on the success of the company’s previous beResonant program, which launched the brands of ten black designers in 2020, showcasing Resonance’s dedication to diversity and innovation in fashion. By offering access to its Santiago-based innovation lab, manufacturing facility, and employing over 200 local workers, Resonance continues to reinforce its commitment to the Dominican community.

Lawrence Lenihan, Co-Founder of Resonance Companies, emphasized the transformative potential of Amplify. “Too often designers are boxed out of the fashion industry or fail to build a business that sustains beyond a single runway show,” he said in a statement. “We are very excited to launch Amplify and provide new opportunities to local talent. Dominican creativity is endless and we believe this is the next center of the global fashion industry.”

sewing machine
Photo courtesy Bozhin Karaivanov

Participants in the Amplify program will benefit from a suite of resources designed to accelerate their growth and success. This includes exclusive access to Resonance’s ONE Platform, a holistic solution for design, manufacturing, and distribution that champions efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, each designer will receive a $10,000 investment in goods, services, and education, covering aspects from production to marketing, and addressing common challenges faced by new brands. A key feature of the program is providing a gateway to the U.S. market, offering designers unprecedented access to sell their creations and gain visibility.

Resonance is at the forefront of redefining the fashion industry through sustainable and efficient practices. It has partnered with more than 30 labels on its AI-powered operating system and Design, Sell, Make model empower designers to minimize waste and overproduction, significantly reducing the environmental impact of fashion production. In 2021, it announced the opening of its first U.S. production facility at Pier 59 in New York City’s Chelsea Piers, adjacent to its headquarters. The company says it built the first creation-to-customer-closet platform for sustainable fashion.

“The US has lost one million apparel manufacturing jobs in the last 50 years,” Lenihan said at the time of the launch. “These jobs won’t come back by just wishing it – every step in the value chain to create fashion needs to be reimagined. Using advanced machine learning, innovative manufacturing systems, and new human processes, we can create thousands of living wage jobs across this country.”

The platform says its goal is to open hundreds of sew production facilities around the country and internationally while also connecting existing ones, as a way to “reimagine the textile manufacturing experience for designers, consumers, and the planet.”

Applications for the Dominican Republic Accelerator program will open on March 6 to designers based in the Dominican Republic, with a closing date of March 29. Interested designers are encouraged to apply through the program’s website.

The news comes as Arieli Capital, a leading U.S. investment firm, in partnership with Milano & Partners, Shape Next, Intel Ignite, Microsoft for Startups, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, and the Ministry of Economy and Industry Foreign Trade Administration, has announced the START Fashion Tech program in Milan, Italy, from March 4-7, immediately following Milan Fashion Week. This initiative aims to connect Fashion Tech startups, major brands, and investors, showcasing ten selected startups from more than 15 countries. These startups, specializing in innovations like biomaterials, sustainability, AI, and blockchain, have collectively raised $52 million in funding and generated more than $20 million in revenue.

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