Winter 2020

Material innovation is essential to transforming the fashion supply chain. As with the ever-changing fashion industry, the materials we use must also evolve and adapt in ways that minimize environmental impact.


The Future of Innovative Materials: Making People’s Lives Greener and Cleaner  

From fashion to food packaging and homebuilding, a wide variety of materials are used in every aspect of our lives. And in response to the shortage of raw materials, startups are beginning to look for more sustainable and renewable alternative materials to solve this problem. In this story, we introduce you to solutions for clothing, product packaging and construction that help the material value chain become more sustainable.

Evrnu, Mango Materials and re:newcell

3 Startups to Watch in The Material Innovation Space

Manufacturers and consumers are accustomed to using traditional materials such as polyester, cotton and cellulosic fibers. The fact is that we are facing two major problems: shortage of raw materials, and serious pollution caused by burning and accumulating waste materials. We believe that innovation is the key to solving these problems. The three startups that we introduce in this feature – Evrnu, Mango Materials and re:newcell change the conventional consumption of materials by using cutting-edge solutions that they have developed.

Interview with Jen Keane

Residency Program at The Mills Fabrica

As a hub that promotes and encourages techstyle innovation, we housed Jen Keane, the winner of The Mills Fabrica Techstyle Prize 2018, for a 3-month residency program where she developed her innovative materials project with The Mills Fabrica team’s support. In a featured interview, Jen tells us about her experience in Hong Kong and talks us through her journey thus far. Also in this issue, Reflaunt and Smartzer, the first of our UK incubatees, share with readers how their technology is changing fashion for the better.

Event Recap

The Launch of Good Fashion Fund

Co-organized with the Clothing Industry Training Authority, HKRITA, REDRESS, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium and the Office of the Hon Felix Chung Kwok Pan, member of the Legislative Council, Fashion Summit Hong Kong 2019 brought together academics, NGOs, media and industry leaders to discuss sustainable solutions for the fashion industry. 

Mercedes-Benz Presents: Bam Festival

BAM Festival is a two-day lifestyle festival held at Central Harbourfront, showcasing the best new experiences for the next-level lifestyle to the public. As one of the partners of the festival, Fabrica invited 9 techstyle startups including Origami Labs, Lumos, Simple Pieces, TG3D, Unspun, EMMESPHERE, Upmood, Vacanza Shirts and UNQ, to join at the event and introduce their products to visitors.


TITAS (Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show) is one of the most important innovative textile exhibitions in Asia, exploring themes of sustainability, smart textiles, functional applications and smart manufacturing.

A Snapshot of the Techstyle Industry

Startups Developing Groundbreaking Material Solutions

Entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas fuel the expansion of techstyle ecosystem. We selected 4 startups that aim to improve supply chain sustainability by developing smarter and cleaner solutions, providing manufacturers and customers alternatives to traditional materials.

Smartzer: See It, Buy It.

Making Videos Interactive and Shoppable Shaping

Fashion campaign videos show you items you want to buy, but in order to do so you still need to visit a physical or online store to see if they are available. Why not buy them immediately while watching the video? Fabrica’s incubatee, Smartzer, has developed a solution that allows you to purchase items you see in a video, making your shopping experience more instantaneous, intuitive and interactive.

Reflaunt: Closing the Loop on Pre-Owned Fashion

Sailing Home: Reshoring and Localising Production after Covid-19

Reselling pre-owned clothes is one solution to extend a garment’s lifespan. In order to encourage a circular model in the fashion industry, Reflaunt has developed a technology that connects brands and retailers with the secondhand market, leaving out tedious steps so customers can resell pre-owned fashion online in just a few simple clicks.

Interview with Jeffrey Hsu

From Textile to Techstyle: Looking Ahead for the Materials Sector

The textile industry has been around for over one hundred thousand years. How do entrepreneurs disrupt such an old and established industry? Jeffrey Hsu, one of Fabrica’s advisors and CIMO of NewTech Textile, forecasts the future of the fashion and textile industry and shares his advice with entrepreneurs who are aspiring to start a new venture in this space.

Interview with Brooke Roberts-Islam

When Science Meets Fashion : a Journey in Search of Sustainable Designs

Brooke Roberts-Islam used to be a radiologist in Australia before she moved to the UK where she founded her eponymous material innovation lab BRIA (Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency) in 2016. What brings her from the healthcare sector to becoming a fashion designer and material researcher? She shares with us her unusual career change and how her interdisciplinary background has helped develop her fashion business.