FabCafe Hong Kong is a creative community platform to connect people from different fields of expertise and find opportunities to collaborate on meaningful projects. We are creating a new series of “FAB Meetup” to spark discussions on relevant local and global challenges. We also highlight on-going community driven projects that are gaining traction to create real impact.
FAB Meetup vol.01 Theme: Sustainable innovation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is ranked as Asia’s second-most sustainable city (9th Globally) according to the 2018 edition of Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index, and surpassed only by Singapore. The relatively high ranking is accredited to economic performance and people’s quality of life. However, many environmental factors is holding the city back, including non-renewable energy consumption, vulnerability to natural catastrophes, air pollution and poor waste management.
Fortunately, there are innovators in Hong Kong who employ different strategies to make a change. FabCafe hosted the first FAB Meetup in Hong Kong on 12 Dec 2019 to explore more about sustainable innovation in Hong Kong. We were honored to have Harold Yip from Mil Mill to share his paper recycling business, and Annika Visser from unspun to talk about the apparel business of making customized jeans. Loftwork Hong Kong co-founder Harvey Chung also shared the sustainable tourism project: USIO Design Project on the meetup.
Harvey introduced the sustainable tourism project: USIO Design Project. The project was a design contest aimed to redesign the packages of the local products. 10 souvenirs from Ishigaki Island were selected and designers from around the world have redesigned those packages. This project also hoping to introduce local values and stories through redesigned products and to sustain the unique tourism value of the island.
Mil Mill is the first pulp mill and education center that recycle beverage cartons in Hong Kong and supported by Recycling Fund. They are able to process 10 tonnes of beverage cartons daily, and convert them into paper pulp. They also recycle different kinds of paper in Hong Kong.
Harold mentioned that waste problem of paper is very serious in Hong Kong, which there are 2,700 tonnes of paper waste per day, and 67 tonnes of them are beverage cartons. If there is no one to handle it, all beverage cartons waste will go directly to landfills. Therefore, Mil Mill has provided an alternative to recycle these waste in Hong Kong.
The pulp produced from beverage cartons is now shipping to Vietnam for toilet paper production. But there can be more possibilities to use the pulp locally. Harold hoped there are more local design solutions to convert the pulp into real products.
unspun is a venture-backed robotics and apparel company, building custom jeans for each consumer, on demand. Their mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by at least 1% through automated, localized, and intentional manufacturing.
Annika explained that there are large amount of unsold inventories and lots of waste created from clothes production. With the 3D body scan technology, unspun provided the solution to produce best fit jeans for customers and not to waste any fabric. unspun also carefully choose their suppliers who should bring the least damage to the environment during production process.
H&M is using unspun’s body scanning software for making jeans. This has ensured that unspun is on the right track that even big corporations would like to collaborate with them. This is also the sign that big corporations would like to come up with solutions for excess fashion waste.
There were a total of 32 guests attended the meetup and they were very active in the Q&A session. Audiences gave positive feedback to our first meetup. We are going to organize more meetups with different topics. Stay tuned for our next meetup!