State of Techstyle Innovations Report

State of Techstyle Innovations Report

Press Release: State of Techstyle Innovations Report


20 May 2020 – As the platform for nurturing global techstyle innovations within the industry, The Mills Fabrica is excited to announce the launch of a new annual report “State of Techstyle Innovations”, sharing about the latest innovations and investment opportunities in the techstyle space.


The fashion industry has been rapidly transformed by innovations in the value chain, bringing more investment and collaboration opportunities to the ecosystem players. Investors and large corporates like brands and manufacturers are actively looking for ways to capture these new opportunities.


The report aims to serve as a 101 into the innovation landscape of techstyle. Investors and large corporates including brands and manufacturers will gain access to key facts and findings on the latest startup innovations and analysis of funding sizes, investment and exit landscape of startups in the techstyle space. The report will also highlight the lessons learnt from early winners in the space, sharing insights on key opportunities and trends in the three thesis areas, Material and Supply Chain, Techstyle Brands and New Retail Experiences.


To help better explain the facts and findings, State of Techstyle Innovations Webinar Series will be held in May and June to share with our valuable partners and community members on the trending innovations that corporates are more focused on and the investment opportunities that investors are actively looking into. The webinar series will be kickstarted with two overview sessions, targeting at investors and corporates, followed by three deep-diving sessions in New Material and Supply Chain, Techstyle Brands, New Retail Experiences.


If you are interested to learn more,

 For the webinar series, register now to get the zoom link!
 For more content of the report, feel free to access a summary of the report in the appendix or download the full Teaser report.
 For a customized full report, please send us an email for enquires.



For media enquiries please contact:

Cindy Law
Marketing Associate, The Mills Fabrica
Phone: +852 3979 2311


Appendix 1
Upcoming “State of Techstyle Innovations” Webinar Series,
 The Investment Opportunities in Techstyle (Investment Focus): May 27, Wednesday, 9-10 pm HKT
 The Innovation Imperative for Techstyle (Corporate Focus): Jun 3, Wednesday, 4-5 pm HKT


Appendix 2

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
2) Shopfloor – experiential retail; an expression of Hong Kong’s evolving character
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.


Appendix 3

Blog: State of Techstyle Innovations Report 2020


The global apparel market has been growing with an estimation of $2T USD sales in 2023 globally and an annual rate of 4.5% growth. This report will specify the 3 key trends observed driving up this growth along with more techstyle innovations in 3 thesis areas.


3 Trends and Thesis Areas Drive the Growth of The Techstyle Market

New Material and Supply Chain Innovation

Fashion/ textiles supply chains face increasing pressure to be sustainable from supply and demand side. The supply side faces pressure with increasing cost of production/ decrease in margins and potential government regulations on production standards while on the demand side more ethically conscious customers have strong preferences for transparent and sustainable supply chains. This leads to growing innovations for sustainable production in new materials/ recycling, process innovation (e.g. automation, dying and cutting) or other supply chain tools & enablers (on education or transparency).


Techstyle Brands and Products

Millennials are one of the largest generations in history. Increasing millennial population seeks for more aspirational brands and new product categories, for instance, athleisure category is expected to be $570B USD in market size in 2023. New techstyle brands are building products for millennial consumers through community building with technology. From targeted brand story-telling along with elevated product offerings complemented by technologies that enhance product (e.g. personalized/ functional apparel) and the customer journey (e.g. omnichannel experiences), these drivers has led to a boom of new techstyle brands and products born for millennial consumers in a digital age.


New Retail Experiences

There are 5B active users purchasing online. The boom in digitization and ecommerce platforms changes consumer behavior. Digital disruption in ecommerce leads to the rise of omnichannel retail experiences including plug-in technologies (e.g. SAAS solutions like sizing / video tagging for online ecommerce; hardware/ software suites for better offline store digitization) and technologies to encourage circular business models (e.g. post-consumer garment resale/ recycling/ personalization and fitting technologies).


Figure 1: More details about the latest innovations in the 3 thesis areas


These trends combined have led to a growth of innovators and startups across the value chain, be it innovating in new materials/ processes, emergence of new brands/ products or innovations to enable better retail experiences. Our database profiled >350 new companies that has been started in past few years (that are invested by ~15 leading investors in the space).


Figure 2: A snapshot of the 3 key trends and thesis areas in the techstyle space


Techstyle innovations are supported by ecosystem players from corporates and investors
Increasing techstyle innovations are also contributed by the rising support initiated by ecosystem players. Corporates and investors take different approaches to scale up the startups such as launching platforms like innovation awards or accelerator programs, corporate venture investment arms and helping startups’ commercialization like forming internal R&D team, brand collaborations on product collections and other supply chain initiatives. It is expected more ecosystem players will further increase their participation and support with new initiatives that will further fuel the growth in techstyle innovations in the near future.


Figure 3: Various ecosystem players supporting the techstyle innovations


Early techstyle winners have emerged, with more expected to come

In the past few years, >60 techstyle unicorns have emerged. From our statistics, new retail has been the historical unicorn producer with more than 80% of unicorns within techstyle coming from this category, while techstyle brands and new materials follow closely, with an average valuation of $3B USD. However, with more innovations arise in the techstyle space, there comes a question on whether new retail category will continue to lead the unicorn market or not. For investors, would techstyle brands and new materials become the white space opportunities for investments? For corporates, with growing consumer concerns on sustainability and changing consumer shopping habits, what are the latest innovations in the market and how should they collaborate with them? And more importantly, what would realized exits look like in this space?


Figure 4: Techstyle unicorns in the past few years


Looking ahead: towards a techstyle future

Looking ahead, disruption from being more sustainable, growth in millennial population and digitization continue drive up the growth in techstyle innovations. With increasing support from ecosystem players, it is expected more techstyle innovations and unicorns coming in the space.


If you are interested to find out more, please download the teaser report. For a customized full report, please send us an email for enquires.



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