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Open Lab – enabling collaboration and research

Project time period

20202024

We want to talk less and do more. Together with our partner The Hong Kong Research Institute for Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), we thought we needed a place where the entire value chain of the fashion and textiles industry could come together to collaborate, prototype new technologies and scale the outcomes. Welcome to the Open Lab.

Open Lab by HKRITA and H&M Foundation

The Open Lab is a physical space in Hong Kong, that will open at the turn of the year. Here, HKRITA invites brands, suppliers, entrepreneurs, and researchers to develop disruptive new technologies, fund projects and scale outcomes quickly with the intention to make resources broadly available.

The Open Lab is part of the Planet First program by HKRITA and H&M Foundation, which runs between 2020 – 2024 and aims to find technologies that contribute to a planet positive fashion future.

“We have so many cutting-edge projects and scalable solutions within the Planet First program with H&M Foundation, but nothing happens if it stays in the lab. We wanted to find a place where everything could be openly shared with the industry to really create impact – and this is how the Open Lab came about. It has been a crazy idea from the start, but we really believe it will provide a platform for collaboration, prototyping and scaling. It is very exciting.”

Edwin Keh, CEO HKRITA

A common bottleneck in the industry for testing new ideas is that the machinery, knowledge and space to do so might not be available. This is what the Open Lab want to address. Here, different players can come together to explore the unknown, and support industry-wide collaborations.

The benefit of the Open Lab for researchers is to optimise and improve systems and processes, and for brands and manufacturers it is to run trials and develop prototypes before commercialisation.

The Open Lab in Hong Kong consists of two parts:

Pilot Plant – for mature research

A space to house new technologies at pre-industrial and industrial scale, for researchers and industry partners to run trials together:

  • For researchers to optimize and improve the system and processes
  • For brands and manufacturers to test and prototype before commercialization

Fashion Future Lab – for emerging research

A space for researchers to showcase their R&D results and progress, and industry partners to access the latest solutions.

There is also a digital platform where new challenges and project ideas will be collected, and where solutions will be made available to all.

“Our ambition is that by showcasing new technologies and innovations that industry actors can ‘touch and feel’, we will be able to inspire and create an understanding of how these solutions can be applied in the future, and speed up the transformation.”

Christiane Dolva, Strategy Lead Planet Positive

More information will come as the Open Lab develops.

hkrita.com/theopenlab

Project Specifics

  • Program Period: 20202024
  • Project Status: Current
  • Focus Areas: Planet Positive
  • Partners: HKRITA

For more information, please contact HKRITA hkrita.com/theopenlab.