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Date : 2024-05-17        Source : New Taipei City Government
Weave Venture 2024: A Landmark Event Reshaping Sustainable Fashion

▲ Weave Venture Meet & Swap: Delegates were invited to bring one piece of old clothing to exchange during the introductions, aligning with the theme of sustainable fashion. (Image Source: Provided by Anchor Asia)

Anchor Asia (as known as Anchor Taiwan), in collaboration with New Taipei City’s sustainable fashion initiative, "Fashion for All," hosted the groundbreaking program "Weave Venture" in May 2024. This event, dedicated to fostering innovation and transformation in the textile and apparel industry, showcased a day of immersive experiences and collaborative discussions, drawing over 50 industry leaders and investors from renowned companies such as Far Eastern Group, Pou Chen Group, Nan Ya Plastics, Acer Group, and lululemon.

The program commenced with a visit to Sabrina Fashion Industrial Corp., a leading innovator in high-performance apparel since 1974. Sabrina's commitment to innovation extends beyond its core business, with active engagement in upstream and downstream partnerships, investments in venture capital funds and startups, and the establishment of an incubator in Cambodia. Jennifer Lin, Sabrina's corporate venture representative, shared insights into the company's strategic roadmap and facilitated interactions with brands and startups incubated and invested in by Sabrina.

▲ Weave Venture Delegation Visit:Sabrina Fashion Industrial Corp. (Image Source: Anchor Asia)。

Following a networking luncheon at the New Taipei City Hall, executives from Acer Group, Pou Chen Group, and Nan Ya Plastics presented corporate innovation case studies, highlighting strategies for maintaining competitiveness through internal innovation and new business development. Lucia Liao, Head of Apparel Product at Acer Gadget Inc., shared Acer's journey diversifying into lifestyle businesses, including sustainable fashion products made from recycled materials.

Tommy Kong, Strategy and Investment Director at Pou Chen Group, emphasized the importance of sustainability in addressing the global footwear industry's environmental challenges. Pou Chen Group's investment strategy focuses on innovative materials, smart manufacturing, and recycling initiatives to reduce environmental impact.

Mike Shih, a serial entrepreneur who is now the Brand Director of SAYA Renew Fiber at Nan Ya Plastics (a $20 billion conglomerate), shared steps on building a brand from within. Mike mentioned that intrapreneurship often requires overcoming challenges related to culture, resources, and organizational structure. A “sandbox” environment can be a good starting point.

The event also featured discussions on corporate venture capital (CVC) led by Elisa Chiu, CEO of Anchor Asia with Juliana Pidner Hsu, Managing Director of DRIVE Catalyst at Far Eastern Group, Wesley Choi, President of qonvolv Ventures, and Gulshan Kumar, General Manager of lululemon Taiwan LLO.

▲ Pictured from left to right: Gulshan Kumar, General Manager of lululemon Taiwan; Juliana Pidner Hsu, Managing Director of DRIVE Catalyst, Far Eastern Group; Wesley Choi, President of qonvolv Ventures; and Elisa Chiu, CEO of Anchor Asia and curator of Weave Venture, during the corporate innovation venture capital panel discussion. (Image Source: Anchor Asia)

DRIVE Catalyst's investments in companies like Circ, Ambercycle, and CALA underscored the critical role of CVC in driving innovation and sustainability in the textile industry. In addition to investing in emerging technologies, qonvolv Ventures also incubates impactful solutions from within, unlocking intellectual properties and know-hows from its 45-year-old parent company with a strong presence in textile and apparel. On the other hand, as a brand, lululemon is committed to open innovation and collaboration with startups to develop sustainable materials and processes.

The event concluded with a sunset reception, graced by the presence of Yu-ih Hou, Mayor of New Taipei City, and other government officials. Mayor Hou emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing sustainability initiatives, affirming New Taipei City's commitment to supporting the textile industry's transformation.

▲ New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-Ih made a stylish appearance at the networking reception by donning a fashionable vest crafted from his own old denim jeans. (Image Source: Anchor Asia)

Representatives from the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Business France Taiwan, Netherlands Office Taipei, and Industrial Development & Investment Promotion Committee of New Taipei City also attended the reception, showcasing the potential for global collaboration in sustainable fashion and industrial innovation.