The Mills Fabrica closes with 9 investments in 2019;
continuing goal to support global techstyle innovations
for industry impact and sustainability
6 January 2020 – As the platform for nurturing global techstyle innovations and driving sustainability and impact within the industry, The Mills Fabrica is excited to announce the closing of 9 new investments with techstyle startups that span across the techstyle value chain from material and supply innovation, apparel/ products merging technology and style to new retail experiences for the year 2019.
Material/ supply chain innovations
Fashion/ textiles supply chains face increasing pressure to be sustainable from both demand side (ethical consumers with greater socio-environmental consciousness) and supply side (raw material input and cost pressure, potential regulations, unsustainable environmental impact). These combined have led to growing innovations for sustainable production be it in new materials/ recycling, process innovation such as automation or other supply chain tools & enablers such as on education or transparency. Fabrica is excited to work with the following innovators to continue to scale their technologies ahead:
MANGO MATERIALS provides a closed-loop, cost-efficient solution to addresses the global polyester demand while reducing carbon emission by producing a biopolymer (PHA) from methane gas wastes that can be extruded into a range of biodegradable products like polyester fibre / plastic packaging.
RE:NEWCELL fills the void of stagnant cotton supply growth and the need for circularity in materials by converting discarded cotton textiles into functional recycled pulp for textiles manufacturers.
EVRNU addresses the increasing demand for alternative materials and circular solutions by improving the efficiency of garment recycling and creating high-quality raw materials from cotton textile waste.
MOTIF is an online knowledge & education platform to bridge the skills gap problem in the fashion industry. The platform consisting of various online courses and resources focused on fashion industry is also powered by global leading fashion size and fitting company, Alvanon.
Apparel/ product brands merging technology and style
The apparel and wider lifestyle products space has seen trends in building communities of brand followers combined with technology that enable better products and consumer experience. In the apparel space, these innovations include technologies that enhance functionality of apparel (e.g. personalized apparel, functional materials) or the customer journey (e.g. omnichannel experiences) as well as innovations in branding and experiences to create devoted following and community. Fabrica is excited to be supporting the following techstyle brands and products that combines technology with brand storytelling and community building:
SIMPLE PIECES is an up and coming apparel brand that aspires to be the simple accessible choice for every ladies’ work-drobe. The brand has accumulated significant traction within the growing Chinese millennial generation by working with top global designers and KOL.
LUMOS is a cycling lifestyle brand with safety concerns at heart manufacturing the world’s first smart bicycle helmet with integrated lights, hard brake, and turn signals.
XTRA BRANDS licenses the legacy brand Marshall (that has a 50M global fans base) into lifestyle products globally including backpacks and wallets.
New retail experiences
Digital disruption in ecommerce has led to a proliferation of omnichannel retail experiences that best combines online ecommerce with innovations in the offline retail store space. The industry is seeing plug-in technologies that enhances commerce on online platforms/ offline stores such as plug-in SAAS (Software as a Service) solutions for online ecommerce sites (e.g. for sizing or video tagging) or hardware/ software suites for better offline store digitization as well as technologies to encourage circular business models like post-consumer garment resale/ recycling. Fabrica is excited to be working with the following retail innovators for enhancing online interaction and driving greater circularity:
SMARTZER is a platform that makes videos interactive and shoppable by adding an overlay with clickable hotspots. Viewers can click on anything in a video to see more information or links to shop.
REFLAUNT is a fashion technology company that connects luxury brands and 2nd hand marketplaces through embedding their technology onto brands/ retailers’ e-commerce platforms. The technology allows customers of brands/retailers to resell, donate or recycle their past purchases directly from the e-commerce site of the brand/retailer.
Continuing our mission to create techstyle startup success stories
Overall, it has been a pleasure this past year to embark on a shared journey with our startups & innovators. For the coming year, The Mills Fabrica is looking forward to continue its work on bringing global startups and corporates together to take innovations and sustainable solutions to scale for the industry.
For media enquiries please contact:
Marketing Associate, The Mills Fabrica
Phone: +852 3979 2311
1. The Mills
The Mills, Nan Fung Group’s landmark revitalization project transforming its former textile factories into a new destination for heritage and innovation, has officially opened. It is essentially a reinvention story, preserving the best of Hong Kong’s past and combining it with the future to offer a new platform for inspiration and creativity. The Mills represents the movement ‘from textile to techstyle’, symbolizing the transition from its heritage to innovation, from old to new.
The Mills is composed of 3 pillars:
1) Fabrica – a business incubator, fund and space/lab/store for techstyle startups and strategic partners – companies at the intersection of technology and style www.themillsfabrica.com
2) Shopfloor – experiential retail; an expression of Hong Kong’s evolving character www.themills.com.hk/en/
3) CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) – non-profit art centre interweaving textile arts, history and science
2. The Mills Fabrica
The Mills Fabrica is a business incubator, fund and space/lab/store for techstyle startups and strategic partners — companies at the intersection of technology and style. Fabrica Incubator onboards startups with great potential and puts them through an intensive program of self-improvement, practical business guidance, and marketing exposure while Fabrica Fund invests in leading techstyle entrepreneurs creating the future. Fabrica Space provides members with flexible co-working space to create and share ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs, whilst Fabrica Lab allows for experimentation and prototyping in a collaborative environment with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. Techstyle X is our very own store located on The Mills Shopfloor which showcases the latest techstyle innovations to the public. Fabrica is dedicated to co-creating techstyle startup success stories and a global techstyle community, a catalytic hub where new ideas spark and game changing collaboration takes off.