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Embracing I&T in Hong Kong’s Fashion Sector

Image Credits: HKRITA, Press Release

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) recently hosted the HKRITA Innovation & Technology Symposium 2023 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The theme was “Innovating Zero”, and it served as a crucial platform for government officials, industry experts, business leaders, and academic representatives from around the world to discuss the issue of climate change and exchange ideas on how innovation can drive the sustainability and reindustrialisation of the textile and fashion sector. The event highlighted the significance of technologies and innovative applications in creating a sustainable net-zero future, as well as addressing the challenges of the new normal.

The Chairman of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel stated that innovation is at the core of HKRITA’s operations. The Institute has advanced to a stage where research can be conducted in the lab while real-world solutions can also be rolled out on a large scale in factories, supply chains, warehouses, stores, and recycling facilities.

HKRITA has the support of the government’s Innovation & Technology Fund while helping to scale and industrialise these solutions. As Hong Kong, like the rest of the world, aims to become carbon neutral, the question of how to achieve “zero” carbon emissions in all industries is crucial for the future, she said.

Acting Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry, HKSAR Government, in her opening address, stated that the Government of Hong Kong SAR is committed to supporting environmental technology through the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) which has provided funding for over 200 projects, totalling close to HK$500 million.

The government’s five Research and Development (R&D) Centres, including the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), have successfully completed many green technology projects with the support of the ITF. The government aims to establish Hong Kong as an international Innovation and Technology hub and looks forward to seeing more collaborative projects from HKRITA and its partners in the future.

HKRITA and HKSI sign MoU to encourage future collaboration in the development of innovative sports training apparel

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) was signed to pursue collaboration on innovation in sportswear and devices. The MoU, signed by the Chairman of HKRITA, and the Chief Executive of HKSI, solidifies the partnership between the two institutes and commits them to continued close cooperation in developing high-performance sportswear and devices tailored for different sports.

Showcasing innovations expected to shape the future

HKRITA has developed various innovations and technologies to maximise the potential of the textile and fashion industry and improve its sustainability. These innovations were showcased at the Symposium, including sportswear adopted by local elite athletes that have been used in multiple training sessions and international competitions, such as the Tokyo Olympics. The exhibits provided an opportunity for attendees to see the results of HKRITA’s research and development efforts and understand how the institute’s innovations can be applied in the industry.

The innovations developed by HKRITA were designed to provide athletes with comfort, style, and functionality, and help them adapt to the sports environment and competition needs.

In addition to sportswear, the Symposium also featured aprons made of carbon dioxide (CO2) capturing cellulosic materials which were also on display. These exhibits demonstrated the institute’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions for the textile and fashion industry, that not only enhance performance but also address environmental concerns.

The cellulosic yarn functionalised by amine-containing molecules was developed with the goal of capturing CO2 from the surrounding air. Textiles produced from these yarns have the potential to reduce CO2 levels in the environment when used in large quantities in everyday life.

The concept of “The Open Lab” which develops solutions to address climate change was also presented at the Symposium. This initiative aims to bring together experts from various fields to work on sustainable solutions that address the impact of the textile and fashion industries on the environment. The Symposium provided a platform for showcasing these innovative solutions and discussing their potential for scaling and industrialisation.

The event also featured heavyweights from the government and industries, who gathered to share their insights regarding further development of the textile and fashion sector.

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