Marking five years of accelerating techstyle and agrifood innovations – call for more mission-aligned partners to join the ecosystem
HONG KONG SAR 16 May 2023 – The Mills Fabrica launches its first-ever Impact Report to mark five years of accelerating innovations, development, and adoption in the categories of techstyle (the intersection between technology and lifestyle) and agrifood tech.
The Mills Fabrica itself was grown out of Nan Fung Group’s textile legacy in Hong Kong, with a focus on supporting and investing in innovations within the textile and apparel, and agrifood industries. As both industries are significant contributors to climate change, emitting up to 44% of global greenhouse gas emissions, The Mills Fabrica aims to use its resources to catalyze innovations for sustainability, environmental and social impact. Today, The Mills Fabrica is made up of a venture capital fund, startup incubator, Impact Retail Store Fabrica X, labs, offices, and event spaces across Hong Kong and London.
Raising awareness and advocating for measurable investment standards
Since its inception in 2018, The Mills Fabrica has supported more than 35 of such innovations as part of its investment and incubation program, and invests up to USD 3M per startup. Its investment in startups and fund investments spans across the world (US, Europe, Asia), where over 50% of The Mills Fabrica investees receive successful subsequent fundraising.
To mark five years of accelerating techstyle and agrifood innovations, The Mills Fabrica launches its inaugural Impact Report to outline its investment strategy, raise awareness, and celebrate innovations in these two key industries.
“While we see great interest in supporting innovations around sustainability, more can be done to ensure that efforts and investments lead to genuinely effective outcomes. This is why, with the launch of the 2022 Impact Report, The Mills Fabrica aims to take first steps in consolidating standards to measure the positive environmental and social impact investments truly have on the world,” says Cintia Nunes, General Manager and Head of Asia, The Mills Fabrica.
The Mills Fabrica’s Impact Report advocates for using standardized and measurable methods for supporting innovations around sustainability. For The Mills Fabrica, it follows the nine planetary boundaries as outlined by the Stockholm Resilience Center (climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change, freshwater use, biogeochemical flows, ocean acidification, novel entities, atmospheric aerosol loading, and stratospheric ozone depletion) and the IRIS+ framework, the generally accepted system for measuring, managing, and optimizing investment and support.
It leads by example by evaluating case studies from its portfolio companies, breaking down key impact metrics according to the nine planetary boundaries and IRIS+ framework – to showcase how its investments translated to positive environmental and social impact.
Nunes continues, “It is necessary that we make such knowledge accessible to the wider community. By adhering to the same standards, we hold each other accountable – ensuring that innovators and investors can work together in an intentional and concerted effort to generate genuine change.”
Taking one of the portfolio companies Circ as an example, who pioneered a chemical recycling technology that can recycle polycotton — what the majority of clothes are made of — into reusable fibers. Circ has recycled 41 tonnes of materials, which is the equivalent of 66 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). It also launched a collection with Zara in April 2023 to bring sustainable fashion to the masses.
In search of talented innovators worldwide: Ticket size up to USD 3M for direct investments
To make positive impact across the value chains of the textile and apparel, and agrifood industries, The Mills Fabrica has invested up to USD 3M per global techstyle startup over the past five years such as Renewcell, Circ, Colorifix, and unspun; and into agrifood tech startups such as Michroma, Geltor, The Supplant Company, amongst others.
Moving forward, The Mills Fabrica will be ramping up its efforts in supporting sustainable and disruptive innovations in the techstyle and agrifood tech space, and will continue to invest up to USD 3M per startup, and pursue partnerships with mission-aligned venture capital funds.
Aside from capital, The Mills Fabrica has also provided support for startups by utilizing its team of global industry experts and connections to manufacturers, retailers, and other like-minded investors. It calls out for partners from all sectors and around the world to join this network as well.
Its presence in Hong Kong and London means that The Mills Fabrica is uniquely able to add value for those who are looking to tap into the potential of Asia, as well as bringing Asian companies into the global arena through its capital, connections, and expertise.
The Mills Fabrica’s 2022 Impact Report can be downloaded here: https://www.themillsfabrica.com/insights/reports/the-mills-fabrica-2022-impact-report/