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4 Aug. 2021 – The Mills Fabrica, the pioneering global platform for sustainable and social innovations, has announced the 2021 winner of the coveted The Mills Fabrica Innovation award in partnership with Central Saint Martins.

The winner of the award, Yongfan Lu, will receive a £1000 cash prize and three-month residency at The Mills Fabrica in Hong Kong to further develop the biomaterial she has designed. Yongfan will gain access to The Mills Fabrica co-working space, Fabrica Lab as well as their innovative network and community. She will also be considered for The Mills Fabrica customized incubation program, providing a platform for her to accelerate her work in the UK, Hong Kong, Asia and internationally.

The relationship between Central Saint Martins and The Mills Fabrica is in its fourth year of celebrating and rewarding final year students at the college for their academic merit in material innovation and sustainability. The prize was developed as a commitment to nurturing future innovators and awarding extra ordinary emerging talent in sustainable design and tech. Previous winners include Jen Keane, who developed a new form of ‘microbial weaving’, working with microbes such as bacteria and yeast to optimise the natural properties of bacterial cellulose and create a new category of hybrid materials that are strong and lightweight, allowing the potential for entire patterns and products to be designed and grown to shape with little or no wastage. She has since gone on to set up her own startup, Modern Synthesis with co-founder Ben Reeve, and is now part of The Mills Fabrica’s incubation programme.

Winner of The Mills Fabrica Innovation Award 2021: Yongfan Lu

Yongfan Lu’s work embodies the interdisciplinary nature of the program in between biology, biotechnology, and design. She has successfully produced a new biomaterial integrating extensive and rigorous scientific experimentation with creative making. Her innovative fabric has a dual integration of a compostable casein-based bioplastic and mycelium that provide nutrition to microbes and plants but also can bioremediate toxins in the soil in its after-use lifecycle.

“I am thrilled to receive The Mills Fabrica Innovation Award and look forward to working with The Mills Fabrica team to continue exploring my project in Hong Kong. This will be an unforgettable opportunity and a great learning experience that will help build my future start-up bio-fashion brand.”

Yongfan Lu, MA Bio Design

About The Mills Fabrica
The Mills Fabrica is an innovation platform dedicated to supporting apparel/textiles and food/agritech industries transition to a more sustainable future through innovations and collaborations. Officially launched in Hong Kong in December 2018, The Mills Fabrica is the innovation arm of The Mills, a landmark revitalization project by Nan Fung Group, transforming their old textile factories into a new heritage, experiential retail and innovation centre. With its business incubator, investment fund, spaces in Hong Kong and London, and community building initiatives, The Mills Fabrica aims to create success stories of collaborations of innovators, entrepreneurs, organisations, and corporates that together will drive positive change for future generations.

About Central Saint Martins
Central Saint Martins UAL is globally renowned for the creative energy of its students, staff and graduates. Its educational reputation across art, design and performance is demonstrated by the ever-growing achievements of its alumni who include Grace Wales Bonner, Matty Bovan, Terence Conran, Michael Fassbender, Antony Gormley, Craig Green, Tom Hardy, Isaac Julien, Jean Jullien, Christopher Kane, Helen Marten, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Morag Myerscough, Laure Prouvost and Raqib Shaw among many others.
Central Saint Martins is part of University of the Arts London (UAL), an international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design, fashion, communication, and the performing arts.

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