The textile and fashion industries have focused on sustainability recently and among the 10 laureates at this year's Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Start-up Express: International Edition are two green fashion start-ups from Thailand.
Moreloop is a fabric upcycling firm which uses discarded stock, while Hangles is a fashion resale platform.
Online platform moreloop, established in 2018, noted that the fashion industry generates excess fabric waste and seeks to turn this material into useful resources, creating a circular economy.
Moreloop Chief Executive Amorpol Huvanandana said Thailand produced 1 billion metres of surplus fabric every year, bringing business opportunities to the company. The company could turn high-quality leftover fabric into 700 million T-shirts, worth US$3.5 billion.
The moreloop online platform serves as a surplus fabric market and database, collecting excess fabric from textile and garment factories. Revenue comes firstly from fabric sales to fashion brands and SMEs as well as customers who browse the fabric inventory on the platform or use consulting services provided by the company to ensure they source the most suitable fabrics.
The second revenue source is the B2B market. The company reuses high-quality surplus fabrics to produce customised products for corporate customers. The third is the B2C market. Under its own brand moreloop, the company reuses high-quality surplus fabrics to design products targeted at consumers.
As of September 2023, moreloop has upgraded and recycled 63 tons of surplus fabric, cutting 947 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. It hopes to reduce carbon emissions 1,000 tons this year.
Hangles, a fashion re-sale platform, is an ESG-focused fashion e-commerce platform established in 2021. Hangles Co-Founder Penpitcha Santinatornkul said the company’s mission is to promote sustainable development through daily fashion and take the lead in promoting zero-waste fashion.
She also said the company is committed to extending the life-cycle of clothes and encouraging shoppers and fashion brands to reuse, reduce and recycle fabrics and clothing.
She pointed out that research data showed consumers wore just 20% of the clothes they bought in a typical year and the remaining 80% went to waste. International fast-fashion brands generate 30 billion unsaleable items annually, with 92 million tons of clothing discarded globally every year, which is equivalent to an annual loss of US$500 million for major economies.
Making a T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water, equivalent to a person's drinking requirements for three years.
Hangles' e-commerce platform integrates AI search engines, seamless logistics and payment channels and support functions for second-hand fashion buying and selling needs. Products and services include making it easy for shoppers to buy second-hand items and clear closets by providing a trusted and convenient fashion resale marketplace.
The company is expanding beyond the individual customers to B2B clients, enabling brands and retailers to easily participate in resale buying and selling.
Hangles plans to raise seed round capital and cultivate customer groups, such as fashion brands and enthusiasts, as well as potential business partners, such as fashion brands, designers, logistics companies, payment companies and retailers. The start-up is targeting expansion in Southeast Asia.
Startup Express International connects start-ups with opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and elsewhere via Hong Kong, enabling them to expand their presence on the international stage.