HomeBlogThe Mills Fabrica Announces Partnership with H&M Foundation Global Change Award

The Mills Fabrica Announces Partnership with H&M Foundation Global Change Award


The Mills Fabrica Announces Partnership with H&M Foundation Global Change Award

10 April 2019 – The Mills Fabrica is excited to announce a new partnership with H&M Foundation Global Change Award (GCA), the leading innovation challenge initiated to accelerate the shift from a linear to circular fashion industry to protect the planet.

Sharing the same vision, The Mills Fabrica and H&M Foundation Global Change Award aim to reinvent the fashion and textile industry through supporting the entrepreneurs who are developing innovations for a more sustainable world. The partnership is primarily dedicated to GCA startups who are embarking on their exploration of Asia as a market for manufacturing or retail.

As a key industry hub, Hong Kong is one of the three chosen destinations for the one-year long GCA ‘Innovation Accelerator Program’ (alongside Stockholm and New York), as part of the grand prize for their annual challenge that is awarded to the five winners. Here, they receive exclusive industry insight, networking opportunities and knowledge about circularity in the fashion value chain. This makes The Mills in Hong Kong the ideal location to extend the support for and development of the GCA startups after they complete the innovation challenge and act as a platform to nurture and take their business to the next stage.

H&M Foundation Global Change Award alumni at The Mills

 “We are very excited about partnering with The Mills Fabrica to provide the Global Change Award winners continued insights, growth and impact beyond the GCA Accelerator. A foothold in Hong Kong and Asia combined with the network, access and support from The Mills Fabrica unlocks a critical springboard for these changemakers to truly reinvent fashion.”

-Erik Bang, Innovation Lead at H&M Foundation

A leading example of a startup revolutionizing the techstyle industry whilst making a positive impact on the world is Unspun – who are building customized jeans with the smallest impact and the largest life span through innovative technology and sustainable sourcing. In 2017, Unspun was awarded the GCA Early Bird Prize and has since joined Fabrica’s Incubation Program and become one of its investment portfolio startups. With both H&M Foundation Global Change Award and Fabrica’s support, Unspun have gone on to share their story at international events, held countless pop-ups, received press coverage from global media; all the while further developing their revolutionary 3D weaving machine and sourcing new sustainable fabrics for their on-demand jeans production.

With its coworking space, Fabrica Lab (prototyping lab) and Techstyle X (experiential retail store), Fabrica will support selected GCA alumni with their development in Asia through a flexible, customized incubation and residency program. This will include residency at Fabrica’s coworking space in the heart of Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong with access to its state-of-the-art prototyping lab and retail exposure at Techstyle X at The Mills Shopfloor which showcases the latest techstyle innovations. Moreover, through The Mills Fabrica’s extensive network, startups will benefit from connections to manufacturers, brands, investors, research centers, academic institutions and be invited to showcase/share their innovations and stories at events and conferences across Asia and worldwide. And where mutually beneficial, have the potential to join Fabrica’s Incubation Program at the end of their residency and opportunity to receive investment from Fabrica Fund.

“Through this partnership, we hope to provide H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award startups with the necessary tools and equipment, access to key Asian markets and a network of world class manufacturers, brands and retailers to take their business to the next level and further their innovations to create a more sustainable techstyle industry.”

-Vanessa Cheung, Managing Director of Nan Fung Development and Founder of The Mills

Having just launched, The Mills Fabrica/H&M Foundation Global Change Award (GCA) Residency Program has officially welcomed its first startup, moral fiber – whose mission is to use science to make plastics climate-positive.

“We look forward to working with The Mills to accelerate the adoption of moral fiber technology and are excited to play a role in advancing breakthrough circular materials solutions for the fashion industry.”

-Akshay Sethi, Co-Founder of moral fiber

How moral fiber works

The goal of this collaboration is not only limited to improving sustainability within the fashion industry across borders, but in the hope that it will inspire and spark ideas among innovators who collectively can initiate change to safeguard the planet.


For media inquiries please contact:

Cindy Law

Marketing Associate, The Mills Fabrica

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +852 3979 2311

About The Mills

The Mills is Nan Fung Group’s landmark revitalization project transforming its former textile factories into a new destination for heritage and innovation. 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

About 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. An open platform for techstyle innovation, their mission is to create techstyle startup success stories and to build a global techstyle community where startups, large corporates, academia, researchers, students and innovators can meet and collaborate to make a better and more sustainable fashion industry.

1) Incubator: a 12-month incubation programme dedicated to techstyle startups (from materials & supply chain innovation, wearables & products merging technology & style to new retail experiences), providing customised support through exposure and connections.

2) Fund: an evergreen investment platform dedicated to investing in leading techstyle startups internationally to create the future of techstyle.

3) Space/lab/store: a flexible workspace for the techstyle community / prototyping lab with worldclass equipment curated for techstyle innovation for startups, designers, hobbyists and partners / experiential retail store (Techstyle X) offering the public a unique selection of techstyle products and innovations, while providing companies with the opportunity to showcase their technologies and launch new concepts.

About H&M Foundation and the Global Change Award

H&M Foundation (HMF) is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M Group. HMF’s mission is to drive long lasting, positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with organizations around the globe, HMF aims to accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. HMF focuses on four key areas: Education, Water, Equality and Planet.

Global Change Award (GCA) is an innovation challenge initiated by HMF, aiming to make fashion circular. GCA is one of the world’s leading challenges for early stage innovation, and the largest initiative of its kind in the fashion industry, to protect the planet and our living conditions.

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