Raising awareness of sustainable fashion by demonstrating the feasibility towards low impact production
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 20 July 2023 – The Mills Fabrica and CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), – The Mills’ innovation arm and art centre, today jointly launch the “SEED TO TECHSTYLE” furoshiki – now available for sale.
Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport goods, was chosen as a medium to demonstrate consciously-grown fiber, textiles, and low impact production methods. Its goal is to raise awareness and showcase the feasibility of sustainable fashion.
“Seed” – from which the fibers were grown, to “techstyle” – the intersection between technology and lifestyle, the making of the furoshiki is a collaborative effort from mission-aligned ecosystem partners across the globe brought together by The Mills Fabrica and CHAT. They include: integrative design studio Pop & Zebra, supplier of TENCEL™ fibers Lenzing Group, textile innovation and solutions provider NTX®, and local studio and social enterprise RHYS.
SEED TO TECHSTYLE – minimal environmental impact from the outset
Today, synthetic fibers represent 65% of global fiber production, of which 56% of fibers produced are derived from fossil fuels, according to Textile Exchange’s 2022 report. The Environmental Protection Department also revealed that Hong Kong generates an average of 392 tonnes of textile waste per day into our landfill. Along with the rising trend of fast fashion, the textile and apparel industry is a significant contributor to climate change, emitting up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, as outlined in The Mills Fabrica’s 2022 Impact Report.
Riding on the momentum of five years of accelerating innovation in techstyle and agrifood tech, The Mills Fabrica and CHAT hopes to use the “SEED TO TECHSTYLE” furoshiki – which is manufactured by cutting-edge textile technology that greatly reduces impact on the environment – as a means to urge everyday consumers, businesses, and retailers to make more conscious purchasing decisions by seeing and understanding the innovative alternatives that are available in the market today.
A piece of innovation that can be owned by anyone
The 80cm x 80cm furoshiki – from its design to production methods – carries a message of creating genuine planet-positive impact. It can be used in many ways – as a lunch bag, reusable gift wrapping, tablecloth, and anything from one’s imagination.
Starting today, this piece of innovation can be taken home by anyone to practice sustainable living in their own way. The furoshiki is now available at The Mills Fabrica’s Impact Retail concept store Fabrica X, and CHAT’s museum shop, CHAT Shop, both located inside The Mills, with a limited amount of 300 pieces, retailing at HKD 420.
Collaboration demonstrates how sustainability can be carried out from concept, lab, to closet
The Mills Fabrica and CHAT were grown out of The Mills, a techstyle, cultural hub consisting of a business incubator, an experiential retail shopfloor, and a community art museum. The two major pillars of The Mills have a joint mission to catalyze innovations in the techstyle and agrifood industries for positive environmental and social impact, at the same time engage in new dialogues and inspirational journeys that interweave contemporary art, design and heritage.
With that in mind, The Mills Fabrica and CHAT invited local design studio Pop & Zebra to create the artwork for the furoshiki, and tapped on its partner Lenzing Group’s flagship product TENCEL™ branded fibers, made by environmentally responsible production processes. The Mills Fabrica incubatee NTX® then used its novel waterless, low carbon textile coloration technology – NTX® Cooltrans® – to print the design onto the fabric. NTX® Cooltrans® is a revolutionary solution that can precisely color almost any textile material without the need for heat, reducing up to 90% in water usage without compromising the fabric’s engineered feel or functional performance. Finally, the furoshiki was finished and packaged by engaging underprivileged groups from the local social enterprise RHYS.
With every aspect of the furoshiki, from the illustration, fibers, printing, production, to packaging method, the collaboration demonstrates that sustainable fashion is not only feasible, scalable, but desirable by consumers.
Cintia Nunes, General Manager, Head of Asia, The Mills Fabrica said: “Jointly led by The Mills Fabrica and CHAT, the ‘SEED TO TECHSTYLE’ furoshiki brings together our ecosystem partners to demonstrate how sustainable fashion can be carried out from concept, lab, to closet. The Mills Fabrica strives to use our efforts – and Hong Kong – as an example of how it’s possible to make positive impact across the value chains of textile and apparel. By bringing together partners who share a common vision for a sustainable future to develop this furoshiki, we can also collectively spread awareness to more consumers and businesses around the world on their consumption and production choices.”
Takahashi Mizuki, Executive Director and Chief Curator, CHAT said: “Since 2019, CHAT has been collaborating with artists, designers, and communities in Hong Kong and overseas to enhance the awareness of creating a sustainable future through art. Having worked with Pop and Zebra in CHAT’s Seed to Textile Programme in 2022, we were familiar with their joyful graphics illustrating the possible futures of a sustainable society. Their practice and designs easily came to mind when working with The Mills Fabrica on the ‘SEED TO TECHSTYLE’ project, which utilises innovative technology to create a furoshiki wrap. Through this collaboration with forward-looking designers, innovators and local partners, we hope Pop and Zebra’s design will spark conversations that will lead to meaningful change.”
Shop 108, The Mills, Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
+852 3979 2337 | email@example.com
Shop G01A, The Mills, Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
+852 3979 2350 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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About The Mills Fabrica (co-presenter)
The Mills Fabrica is a go-to solutions platform accelerating techstyle and agrifood tech innovations for sustainability. Officially launched in Hong Kong in December 2018, The Mills is a landmark revitalization project by the Nan Fung Group, transforming their old textile factories into a new heritage, experiential retail, and innovation centre. With its venture capital fund, business incubator, spaces in Hong Kong and London, and ecosystem-building initiatives, The Mills Fabrica aims to create success stories of collaborations between innovators, entrepreneurs, and corporates, that together, will drive positive change for future generations. Learn more at http://www.themillsfabrica.com/
About CHAT (co-presenter)
CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) is a community museum located on the 2/F of The Mills, the former cotton-spinning mills of Nan Fung Textiles in Tsuen Wan. Through its multifaceted curated programmes, which include exhibitions and co-learning programmes, CHAT aims to be an art centre that weaves creative experiences for all, inviting visitors to experience the spirit of the innovative legacy of Hong Kong’s textile industry and engage in new dialogues and inspirational journeys that interweave contemporary art, design and heritage. Learn more at https://www.mill6chat.org
About Pop & Zebra (illustrator)
Pop & Zebra is an integrative design studio based in Hong Kong. It is a marriage of two diverse influences viz. Krupa’s childhood in Tanzania and Abhishek’s love for popular culture. Led by observation and research, Pop & Zebra’s work is conceptual with a strong emphasis on visual storytelling and playfulness. They love making things by hand and are constantly shapeshifting between art direction, print and product design, across analogue and digital realms. In between bouts of daydreaming about opulence, the design studio thinks of how to use ideas in breaking down barriers and create a world of honest conversations and active imaginations. Learn more at https://popandzebra.com/
About TENCEL™ (fibers)
TENCEL™ is the flagship brand under the Lenzing Group that covers textile specialty product fiber offerings. Derived from wood, a natural raw material, from certified and controlled sources, TENCEL™ branded fibers are produced via an environmentally responsible production process, which transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are versatile and can be incorporated into a wide range of textile products, including fashion ready-to-wear and home textiles, etc. Learn more at https://www.tencel.com/
About NTX® (printer)
NTX®, with over two decades of dedication to sustainability, provides cutting-edge textile solutions that enhance lives globally. Leveraging state-of-the-art engineering and chemistry, its team of experts continually innovates, setting new standards for sustainability, efficiency, and performance in the textile industry. NTX®‘s mission is to drive the adoption of eco-friendly textile solutions, thereby inspiring a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world. Learn more at https://www.ntx.global
About RHYS (production)
RHYS is a Hong Kong based design studio and garment manufacturer established in 2018. They strive for the welfare of elderly and the disabled by designing thoughtful and good looking adaptive clothing for them. RHYS engage underprivileged groups to support the production and provide flexible work arrangement and set up sewing machines at their home, enabling them to establish an independent & self-reliant life. RHYS was awarded the Grand Award of Design for Asia 2019 and listed as Social Enterprise by GCSE SEE Mark since 2020, while being listed as Caring Company from 2021-2023. Learn more at https://rhyshk.com/