Hong Kong’s already thriving fashion scene will get a further boost when the doors open at The Mills this month. It’s part startup hub – merging fashion, textiles and technology – and part experiential shopping and leisure space, with an accent on sustainability.
The Mills was first envisaged in 2014 by the Nan Fung Group as a HK$700 million project to revitalise its former textile factories into a space for innovation, culture and community. A huge cotton producer in the 1960s, Nan Fung is now a property and investment giant. The Mills has three components: Fabrica, an incubator for fashion and tech startups; Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT), an exhibition space; and Shopfloor, a retail emporium.
The entire project will retain more than 80% of its existing building structure, while Shopfloor will be equipped with the technology to break down unwanted clothing into yarn and fibres and weave them into new apparel.
Among the startups housed at Fabrica are The Fabrick Lab, a design studio developing smart materials; Orii, which makes a wireless audio device that’s worn on the finger; and Unspun, which uses 3D printing to make better fitting clothing.