Hong Kong Brings Circular Innovation Hub The Mills Fabrica To London

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The Mills Fabrica, the Hong Kong-based innovation hub for sustainable textiles, has just opened up a new location in London. Situated at the heart of the British capital in King’s Cross, the hub is part of the platform’s expansion into sustainable tech-style and ag-tech. In addition to housing eco brands, the concept will feature a tech lab for prototyping, an incubation program for startups and host workshops to foster regenerative solutions across sectors. 

The Mills Fabrica opened its doors in London’s King’s Cross earlier this month, an offshoot of Hong Kong’s platform of the same name. The Mills Fabrica is part of the Hong Kong-based Nan Fung Group’s revitalisation project in its home city, which boasts a rich textile industry history. Its new London concept marks The Mills’ expansion from fostering sustainable innovation in textiles to nurturing global solutions in the realm of tech-style and ag-tech. 

‘Catalysing our mission to drive a positive future’ 

Fabrica X at The Mills Fabrica in London.

According to The Mills Fabrica founder Vanessa Cheung, the latest expansion is a significant step forward in its mission to “drive a resilient and positive future with an ecosystem of  innovators, collaborators and passionate souls.” 

Cheung and The Mills platform added that the new hub is “strategically positioned to spearhead sustainable innovation and creativity to redefine the realms of how we grow, make, transport and discard what we wear and what we eat.” 

Housed in a three-storey Victorian warehouse in King’s Cross, the London outpost of The Mills Fabrica will feature eco-conscious stores, brands, and café run by Mouse Tail Coffee, as well as its incubator program and co-working space and lab. Both the café and the concept’s gallery retail space, Fabrica X, will be open to the public on weekdays. 

The Mills Fabrica in London.

A hub for sustainable entrepreneurs

While the first floor of the warehouse will feature retail and open space for brands, such as 3D body-scanning custom-fit denim startup Unspun, Italian upcycled sneaker label Womsh and plastic-free footwear brand Waes, the second and third floors of The Mills Fabrica will dedicated to nurturing new talent disrupting sectors from fashion to food. 

Many of these startups are using synbio technologies to create new alternatives to displace everything from petrochemicals to plastics—and this sector, according to The Mills’ latest analysis, is poised to “reshape” the food and fashion industries with double-digit growth. 

The platform’s incubator programme, which to date has supported 25 startups, include fabric recycling pioneer Renewcell, vegan collagen makers Geltor and Abillion, the plant-based food social media platform and mobile app.

The co-working space in The Mills Fabrica will also be designed to “bring together thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs united in their pursuit of a sustainable future”. 

The Mills Fabrica in London.

Some of the companies slated to join the space, which was created by circular interior designers Fernado Laposse, Charlotte Kidger and Dirk Vander Kooij, include textile bio-pigment firm Colorifix, plant-based sugar alternative startup Supplant, preloved marketplace Reflaunt and Provenance, the data-driven company helping companies become transparent.  

“We are excited to welcome all to The Mills Fabrica’s home in London which is set to become the destination for driving change and minimising negative social and environmental impact,” said Christain Layolle, head of U.K. for The Mills Fabrica. “[We] will offer an ecosystem of sustainable circularity here in London.” 

Disclaimer: Green Queen Media is a 2021 incubatee of The Mills Fabrica Hong Kong incubation program.

All images courtesy of The Mills Fabrica.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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