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Inner Page_6 Oct Briefing

Sustainable Future Challenge is an ideation and entrepreneurship competition for tertiary students, researchers, industrialists, and all like-minded innovators in Hong Kong to connect and co-innovate impactful innovations and business ideas to address the world’s pressing sustainability issues. The theme of this cohort is focusing on textiles and fashion.


Transforming Your Creative Ideas into Real-world Impact for a more Sustainable Future


We are looking for innovations and sustainable approaches for the textile and fashion industry to reduce environmental damages and develop more sustainable business models and practices.

Examples: green manufacturing process, digital solutions, eco-friendly/reusable materials, recycling/upcycling, sustainable product designs, inventory management, etc.

Here are some problem statements collected from the textile and fashion industry for references. You are also welcome to propose any other solutions that will make the industry sustainable.

 Use of Materials
  1. Among the three main textile fibers (plant-based, animal-based and synthetic), the animal-based fibers always cause ethical issues while the synthetic fibers pose environmental issues, e.g. taking a long time to decompose, creating long-term pollution. 
    How about producing animal fibers in a lab from animal cells, like lab-grown Meat?
  2. Algae can not only be used as biofuels or proteins for food applications, but it also can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere efficiently. It is one of the important weapons to combat climate change.How could the textile & fashion industry use more algae?
  3. Nylon is generally made from petroleum. Currently, a new plant-based nylon (Nylon 10) which is a true green nylon is launched. However, its cost is high and only for high-end fashion brands.If someone can intensively cultivate this kind of plant in desert where the land is unsuitable for ordinary farming and extract a mass of oil to produce Nylon 10, it will be environmentally friendly without carbon emission at an affordable price.
  4. Synthetic fiber polyamide and polyester-based yarn are used widely in intimate and sports apparel, while they have better performance on strength and recovery to fit for product functional requirements. Opportunities in exploring natural fiber (Man Made Cellulose) technologies to improve the stretch and recovery performance, for intimate and sports industries to apply with fabrics in sustainable fiber – less consumption of resources and degradable in nature.



  1. Heat sublimation printing is commonly used in our textile industry, it consumes a huge amount of papers. Moreover, it also produces toxic gas during the sublimating process under extremely hot temperature.

    How can we reduce the consumption of papers or any better way to reuse the used papers? How can these toxic gases be eliminated?

  2. The operation of boilers used in garment manufacturing combust a large amount of coal, fuel oil and gas. These traditional fuels produce significant greenhouse gas during manufacturing.

    However, switching to or increasing the proportion of clean energy used for boilers is expensive and less reliable. To promote sustainable development for garment manufacturing, cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions to reduce reliance on nonrenewable energy are desired.

  3. The present denim washing industry moving away from Guangdong Province to other Provinces does not solve or lower the carbon emission level. The only way of reduction is to restrict those high-level water consumption machines for denim with low efficiency.

  4. To reduce heavy pollution during dyeing, an ideal way is to do dyeing during spinning for nylon and polyester yarn instead of yarn dyeing. Such process is currently mainly used in car upholstery industry in bulk quantity but not in garment fashion industry. It is suggested that major fashion brands adopt an international color collection annually studied and made by fashion industry. This practice will help reduce pollution to a large extent.

  5. In the supply chain of fashion industry, paper and plastic packaging are often adopted and disposed after single-use. However, packaging cannot be eliminated entirely as they protect goods to prevent loss and excess waste. Furthermore, replacing polybags with eco-friendly packaging materials increases the cost of production and is not favorable to business. To promote sustainable development in fashion supply chains, a cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging material, or cost-effective incentive for manufacturers to make a change is needed.
  6. Fabric dyeing and finishing is a process with heavy consumption of energy and water, and also for the process in residue water and chemicals treatment. Opportunities in exploring cost-effective, water and energy-saving dyeing and finishing process.


  1.  “Fast fashion” is very popular and well accepted. People are encouraged to overbuy their clothes due to lower prices and rapid styling changes, which resulted in overproduction and shortening the garment life cycle.
    How we can reduce such wastage by using better recycling solutions, which are more cost-effective, energy-efficient and eco-friendly?
  2. “Sustainability Finance or Green Finance” is one of the hot terms for Fashion Industries to get support from bankers, however, most of the fashion industries don’t know what should be done and need guidance on the pathway.
  3. Over 130 fashion brands/companies signed the United Nations (UN) Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action program, which aims to drive the fashion industry to net-zero Greenhouse Gas emissions no later than 2050. The industry needs suggestions on how to reach this goal.




* Certificate of Participation to all Participants




* If the winning teams of Tertiary Student Innovation Awards include PolyU current students, they can admit to PolyU Student Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept (POC) Funding Scheme for an extra cash prize of HK$5,000 per team, subject to the eligibility requirements of the scheme.


** If the winning teams of Grand Finale Awards include PolyU members (students, alumni, staff, PolyU technology licensee, startup postdoc), they can directly pitch for the PolyVentures Micro Fund Scheme for further funding support up to HK$120,000, subject to the eligibility requirements of the scheme.


# Winning teams must be a registered Hong Kong company to get the cash prizes. PolyU reserves the right to withhold/defer in whole or part of the cash if the winning teams violate the competition rules. Cash prize arrangement will be announced after the competition.

All individuals or teams who are interested in sustainable textile innovations are welcome.


Tertiary Student Group is open for current tertiary individual students or student teams. All the team members must be current tertiary students (undergraduates, postgraduates, associate degree and PhD students, etc.) upon the application deadline.


Open Group is open for everyone who is aged 18 or above upon the application deadline.


Online Application

Tertiary Student Group Online Application Form (Deadline: 12 October 2022 (Wed) 1PM)

Open Group Online Application Form (Deadline: 31 October 2022 (Mon) 1PM)


  • Applications can be made by individuals or teams of no more than 5 members.  
  • Individual applicants will have opportunity to form team with other applicants.
  • If you already have a team, please include all team members in one application form.
  • A principle applicant (PA) should be identified for each team, who will be the point-of-contact with the organizer. If there is any change of PA and team members, the current PA should inform PolyU and get the approval.

Briefing Sessions | Networking

21 Sep 2022 (Wed) | 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Venue: N003, PolyU

Application Close for Tertiary Student Group

12 Oct 2022 (Wed) 1:00PM

Tertiary Student Ideation Gala
Team Formation | Workshop | Pitching

21- 23 Oct 2022 (Fri – Sun)

Day 1: 5:30PM – 9:00PM

Day 2: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Day 3 (semi-final assessment): 2:00PM – 6:30PM


Venue: 6/F, PolyU Library

Proof-of-Concept Programme (3 weeks)

Oct – Nov 2022

Application Close for Open Group

31 Oct 2022 (Mon) 1:00PM

Open Group Ideation Gala

Team Formation | Workshop | Pitching

11-13 Nov 2022 (Fri – Sun)

Day 1: 5:30PM – 9:00PM

Day 2: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Day 3 (semi-final assessment): 2:00PM – 5:30PM

Venue: TU103 & TU201

Market Validation Training (5 weeks)

16 Dec 2022 (Fri) PM, 17 Dec 2022 (Sat) AM,
and Evenings of 3 , 9 , 16 and 30 Jan 2023

Grand Finale Presentation

Feb 2023

Award Presentation Ceremony

Mar 2023



Date: 21 Oct 2022 (Fri)

Time: 17:30 – 21:00

Venue: 6/F, Library, PolyU


17:30 – 18:00

Registration and Networking

18:00 – 18:15

Opening Remark

by Kelvin Wong, Interim Director of Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship, PolyU

18:15 – 18:45



by Marianne Atkins, Sustainable Fashion Education Director, Redress



Introduction of the Sustainable Future Challenge

19:00 -20:00

Ice Breaking & Open Mic

20:00 – 20:45



Day 2

Date: 22 Oct 2022 (Sat)
Time: 1000 - 1700
Venue: 6/F, Library


10:00 – 10:15


10:15 – 11:15


Training - Toward the achievement of sustainable development goals in fashion and textiles sectors

By Dr Di FAN, Assistant Professor, SFT

11:15 – 13:00


13:00 – 14:00


Training – Pitching Skill (Hybrid)

By Freddy Law, Cofounder & CEO of Storius Limited

14:00 – 17:00

Work-it-out | Mentoring Session

Day 3

Date: 23 Oct 2022 (Sun)

Time: 14:00 – 18:00

Venue: TU101, TU103, TU107

14:00 - 17:30


17:30 - 18:00

Announcement of Results



Day 1

Date: 11 Nov 2022 (Fri)

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Venue: TU103, PolyU

18:30 - 19:00

Registration and Networking

19:00 - 19:10

Opening Remarks

by Kelvin Wong, Interim Director of Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship, PolyU

19:10 - 19:40


By Katherine Chan, Director of Business Development, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel

19:40 - 19:50

Introduction of the Sustainable Future Challenge

19:50 - 20:30

1-minute Pitch for team members

20:30 - 21:00

Open Mic & Networking

Day 2

Date: 12 Nov 2022 (Sat)

Time: 10:00 – 17:00

Venue: TU201, PolyU




Training – How to Develop a Sustainable Business Model

By MarinaChan, Senior Director, MITHong Kong InnovationNode




Training – How to Prepare a Perfect Pitch

By Raymond Yueng, Chief Impact Futurpreneur, FutureNow


Work-it-out | Mentoring Session

Day 3

Date: 13 Nov 2022 (Sun)

Time: 14:00 – 18:00

Venue: TU101, TU103 & TU107, PolyU



  • Innovativeness 20%
  • Relevancy & Uniqueness 20%
  • Commercial Viability 20%
  • Impact on Society & Solution Effectiveness 20%
  • Team Background & Strength 20%
  • At least one team member should attend all the core events and assessment presentations of the Challenge (see details in the programme rundown). Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the events/assessments may be held physically, virtually or in a hybrid mode. 
  • Participants must not make any statement, comment or issue any materials that are political, violent, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, sexually suggestive or derogatory, defamatory or adverse to the reputation of any sponsors/ partners during the Challenge or the related events.
  • The products/ideas/technologies/innovations proposed by the teams for this Challenge should be free of infringement of any third party’s rights, including any patent, copyright, trade secret, proprietary or confidentiality information, trademark, etc.
  • In general, the intellectual properties (IP) and materials made and created by an employee during their employment or students during their study at the educational institutions shall be vested in the employers or the institutions upon the making and creation, unless otherwise specified by the organisations’ rules. Participation in the Challenge shall not give a third party any rights or claims to these intellectual properties. But IP rights attached thereto generated by the applicant during the Challenge process shall be vested in the applicant. 
  • The participating teams shall carefully consider properly protecting their existing/newly generated IPs. The team and/or the company shall bear all the costs for such protection.
  • The team composition in this Challenge shall be considered temporary unless the parties agree otherwise in writing. One participant’s membership in the team does not bind the other members to partner with him/her in the future development of the project/ innovation/ business idea involved.
  • The top 3 winning teams of Grand Finale Award must register/have registered a Hong Kong company to get the cash prizes. The shareholding structure shall be confirmed in the Disclosure and Declaration exercise before the final assessment. The follow-on support is subject to related programme eligibility and is not redeemable for cash.
  • All the teams must conform to the rules enumerated above. The organiser reserves the right to disqualify any team that fails to abide by the Challenge rules.
  • The organiser reserves the right to interpret and change the Challenge rules and other provisions and conditions. Applicants shall not raise any objections to such interpretation and changes.


Turning Textiles into Energy Storages

Revolutionary Flexible Lithium Batteries

By EightOSix Technology Company


1st Runner Up

Green Wide-spectrum Antiviral/ Antimicrobial Materials and their Textiles

Natural, Bio-based, Degradable Antimicrobial Fibers


By Ecolar Technology Limited


2nd Runner-Up


Upcycled Beeswax Wrap


By Superwrap HK

Merit Award

  • Carbon Capture Headrest Cover
  • Innovated Reuse of Pineapple Leaf
  • Re-Tex: Textile Waste as a Sustainable Building Insulation Material
  • Gluer-Composite Board with Recycled Textiles
  • WORTHdrobe: A Digital Wardrobe


DSC04193 (2)


Champion – Innovated Reuse of Pineapple Leaf

1st Runner Up – Alquimia

2nd Runner Up – RETEXT

Merit Award

  • Bamgae
  • Gluer
  • Step Out


Partner logo_27OCT


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