In Search Of World-Changing Innovations: "Techstyle For Social Good 2021" International Student Online Competition

“Techstyle for Social Good” International Student Competition is dedicated to supporting and celebrating innovative solutions in the apparel, textiles and agrifood tech industry envisioned by students and recent graduates from around the world. Marking the third edition of The Mills Fabrica’s “Techstyle For Social Good 2021” International Student Online Competition, over 200 entries from Hong Kong, the US, UK and other parts of the world were received.

(Image Courtesy: Biophilica)

Applicants’ projects were selected based on their fulfillment of three key criteria, including innovation, value to society and planet, and scalability. Each project was reviewed by a judging panel comprised of experts in the apparel / textiles and agrifood tech fields including Bits x Bites, Green Monday Group, Happiness Capital, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Material Innovation Initiative, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Judging Criteria

Innovation, Value To Society And Planet, Scalability

Competition Categories

Apparel/Textiles: Sustainable Supply Chain & Production, Materials And Products Innovations, Sustainable Platforms, Circular Models

Agri-Food Tech: Supply Chain Innovation, New Food Retail, Alternative Foods / Ingredients / New Food Brands

Agrifood Tech Grand Prize Mi Terro

Winner: Robert Luo (University of Southern California)

“Mi Terro is honored to receive the grand prize in agritech food! We would like to thank The Mills Fabrica team, judges, and partners who believe in our mission, vision, and work. We will continue to create eco-friendly solutions for people all over the world, in all demographics and income levels.”

Mi Terro is the world’s first advanced material company that partners with food companies and farmers to create home compostable, single-use plastic-alternative packaging materials made from plant-based agricultural waste. Their technology can potentially apply to any type of agricultural waste, including plant, dairy, and vitamin supplement by-products. While bio-based, Mi Terro materials do not compete with food production, thereby preventing changes in land-use.

(Image Courtesy: Mi Terro)

Apparel/Textiles Grand Prize Treekind By Biophilica

Winner: Nameth Mira (Royal College of Art), Jordan Berkowitz (Bard College), Drew Burrow (Edith Cowan University), Sarah Saadouni (Imperial College London), Beinn Muir (Cambridge University)

“We’re honored to have been selected as the Apparel / Textiles Grand Prize Winner of Techstyle for Social Good amongst all incredible finalists. This recognition and opportunity to join The Mills Fabrica community is another exciting step towards bringing Treekind™ to the world.”

Treekind™ by Biophilica is a leather alternative made from green waste, nontoxic, plastic/PU-free, recyclable and compostable. Treekind™ is patent-pending with excellent ISO results for leather goods. They aim to tackle environmental issues with a ground-breaking idea that costs less to people, the planet and businesses while strengthening local communities globally: through local job creation, better resource distribution and signi‑ cantly reduced pollution from leather and PVC/PU production.

(Image Courtesy: Biophilica)

Agrifood Tech Special Prize Harmony Baby Nutrition

Winner: Sze-To Ching (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Wendel Afonso (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Harmony’s platform technology replaces cow’s milk proteins and vegetable hydrolysates used in infant formulas with human breast milk proteins. They are the ‑ rst breast milk protein-based formula and the only dairy-free and allergy-free and environmentally friendly baby nutrition in the world.

(Image Courtesy: Harmony Baby Nutrition)

Apparel / Textiles Special Prize Rehap

Winner: Choi Ka Man Janet (Central Saint Martins), Tigana Jevtic Vojinovic (University College London)

REHAP is a mono-material assistive and rehabilitation tool for stroke patients to perform strength training exercises on both limbs and synchronize hand movements with the affected half of the body. This project also aims to make the ecosystem of rehabilitation and assistive technologies more accessible and sustainable with motorless and simplified mechanisms for scalable manufacturing methods.

(Image Courtesy: Rehap)

Community Prize Akofresh

Winner: Mathias Charles Yabe (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), Arina Machine (University of Cambridge), Dhruvika Sosa (O.P Jindal Global University)

AkoFresh is a green cold chain project that will offer preservation services to farmers to help reduce crop waste. The solution is a solar cold storage preservation technology to extend the shelf life of tomato and other perishable crops for up to 21 days, bene‑ ting smallholder farmers and traders.

(Image Courtesy: AkoFresh)