As the platform for nurturing global techstyle innovations and driving sustainability and impact within the industry, The Mills Fabrica announces the closing of 9 new investments with techstyle startups that span across the techstyle value chain from material and supply innovation, apparel products merging technology and style to new retail experiences for the year 2019.
Material/ supply chain innovations
Fashion/ textiles supply chains face increasing pressure to be sustainable from both demand side (ethical consumers with greater socio-environmental consciousness) and supply side (raw material input and cost pressure, potential regulations, unsustainable environmental impact).
These combined have led to growing innovations for sustainable production be it in new materials/ recycling, process innovation such as automation or other supply chain tools & enablers such as on education or transparency. Fabrica works with the following innovators to continue to scale their technologies ahead:
MANGO MATERIALS provides a closed-loop, cost-efficient solution to addresses the global polyester demand while reducing carbon emission by producing a biopolymer (PHA) from methane gas wastes that can be extruded into a range of biodegradable products like polyester fibre / plastic packaging.
RE:NEWCELL fills the void of stagnant cotton supply growth and the need for circularity in materials by converting discarded cotton textiles into functional recycled pulp for textiles manufacturers.
EVRNU addresses the increasing demand for alternative materials and circular solutions by improving the efficiency of garment recycling and creating high-quality raw materials from cotton textile waste.
MOTIF is an online knowledge & education platform to bridge the skills gap problem in the fashion industry. The platform consisting of various online courses and resources focused on fashion industry is also powered by global leading fashion size and fitting company, Alvanon.
Apparel/ product brands merging technology and style
The apparel and wider lifestyle products space has seen trends in building communities of brand followers combined with technology that enable better products and consumer experience. In the apparel space, these innovations include technologies that enhance functionality of apparel (e.g. personalized apparel, functional materials) or the customer journey (e.g. omnichannel experiences) as well as innovations in branding and experiences to create devoted following and community. Fabrica supports the following techstyle brands and products that combines technology with brand storytelling and community building:
SIMPLE PIECES is an up and coming apparel brand that aspires to be the simple accessible choice for every ladies’ work-drobe. The brand has accumulated significant traction within the growing Chinese millennial generation by working with top global designers and KOL.
LUMOS is a cycling lifestyle brand with safety concerns at heart manufacturing the world’s first smart bicycle helmet with integrated lights, hard brake, and turn signals.
XTRA BRANDS licenses the legacy brand Marshall (that has a 50M global fans base) into lifestyle products globally including backpacks and wallets.
New retail experiences
Digital disruption in e-commerce has led to a proliferation of omnichannel retail experiences that best combines online e-commerce with innovations in the offline retail store space. The industry is seeing plug-in technologies that enhances commerce on online platforms/ offline stores such as plug-in SAAS (Software as a Service) solutions for online e-commerce sites (e.g. for sizing or video tagging) or hardware/ software suites for better offline store digitization as well as technologies to encourage circular business models like post-consumer garment resale/ recycling. Fabrica is working with the following retail innovators for enhancing online interaction and driving greater circularity:
SMARTZER is a platform that makes videos interactive and shoppable by adding an overlay with clickable hotspots.
REFLAUNT is a fashion technology company that connects luxury brands and 2nd hand marketplaces through embedding their technology onto brands/ retailers’ e-commerce platforms. The technology allows customers of brands/retailers to resell, donate or recycle their past purchases directly from the e-commerce site of the brand/retailer.
For the coming year, The Mills Fabrica is looking forward to continue its work on bringing global startups and corporates together to take innovations and sustainable solutions to scale for the industry.