Mango StartUp Studio invests in Ziknes 3D printing start-up
Fashion retailer Mango has announced an investment in 3D printing start-up Ziknes to support the development of its robotic additive manufacturing (AM) platform.
This specific project is aimed at the manufacture of furniture from recycled materials. It marks the fifth investment from the company’s Mango StartUp Studio accelerator since 2022, which aims to explore opportunities and 'participate in the development of new technologies'. The investment will provide financial support to Ziknes through a convertible participation loan, along with advice and mentoring from Mango on areas such as product design, specifically furniture.
Ziknes was founded in 2021 with a focus on using AM and robotics for ‘green manufacturing’. The start-up develops hardware and software tools, which can be tailored for use with metals, polymers and cement feedstock. Last year, the company worked with metal laser deposition specialist Meltio to build the Z-Metal One 3D printer, which combines Ziknes robotics technology with Meltio’s multi-laser laser print head, to enable 3D printing of parts in ‘sustainable and efficient’ way.
Ziknes’ entry onto Mango’s acceleration programme is said to offer the company first-hand insight into how Mango operates, and learnings on how to scale up its business model.
While this project is focused on furniture (an area 3D printing has already found success through projects like that of Aectual's retail displays and Julia Koerner's lamella structures), Mango says its Mango StartUp Studio seeks to make seed-capital investments that 'contribute innovation to the fashion industry value chain.' The company hasn't shared how this type of technology might impact its apparel and fashion products, but given the uptake in 3D printing from the likes of adidas and Dior for footwear, and beauty brands from L'Oreal to Chanel for tools on the production line and end-use products, perhaps there is scope for the company to explore the technology for its products in future.