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Topshop names smart fabric start-up winner of Top Pitch

Topshop has revealed The Crated as the winner of its wearable tech programme.

This summer, three technology start-ups dedicated to wearable technologies travelled to London to be coached by Topshop during its Top Pitch start-up programme.

The winner, The Crated, integrates electronic circuitry into textiles and will work with Topshop on a heated garment prototype.

Topshop's Top Pitch was launched in the spring to discover new wearable fashion technology concepts. Working with innovation incubator group, L Marks, start-ups were invited to pitch ideas, with three finalists attending the month-long bootcamp-style programme involving coaching on how to bring products to market. In addition, finalists gained access to workshops covering subjects such as how to grow a business and how to develop hardware, while using desk space in a dedicated Top Pitch hub based in central London.

"The Crated achieved the balance between style and function; its focus on textiles to create next generation smart clothing using heat technology is simple, with a clear purpose for the consumer," said Sheena Sauvaire, global marketing and communications director, for Topshop. "Furthermore, it can be easily integrated into Topshop’s design and production process, which is often a challenge for wearable tech products. The programme saw an impressive set of entries with applications from 25 countries, and so we will continue to support a select shortlist with further mentoring on business skills and research."

Madison Maxey, founder of The Crated, said: "We're excited that big, high-street retailers like Topshop are seeing wearables as something that's more than a gimmick, but as a true and useful consumer product sector. Being part of the Top Pitch programme allowed us to understand how Topshop is viewing the smart clothing market and how start-ups like ourselves can create tools and technologies that feed into that view."

The three Bootcamp finalists were mentored by Topshop experts as well as mentors from the fashion and technology world, including Rachel Arthur, journalist and founder of Fashion & Mash, Maddy Evans, fashion director at Topshop, Bethany Koby, co-founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us, hardware experts at Central Research Laboratory and Dolly Jones, digital strategy director at Condé Nast.

The two other finalists will continue to receive mentorship from the retailer, they are: Luma Legacy – creators of charm jewellery which share memories – and Pins Collective – developers of digital badges with an app allowing users to design and wear custom badges.

Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks, added: "The Crated is a worthy winner of the Top Pitch wearable tech programme. All of our mentors were highly excited by the ideas that Madison bought to the table and she showed a strong understanding of the need to merge style and function for the Topshop audience. We’re delighted that Topshop will continue to mentor Luma Legacy and Pins Collective as well and we hope to see great things from them all."