The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has won five awards in four categories, namely Innovation, Environmental, Research and Development, and Social, in the 2024 Just Style Excellence Awards.

Innovation in fabric handling devices

HKRITA Electro-Adhesion Gripper

HKRITA’s electro-adhesion gripper is transformative in fabric handling, offering a non-intrusive method that safeguards fabric quality while garment manufacturing transforms into automated production processes.

Traditional methods of fabric manipulation, such as pinch-type or vacuum-type grippers, often result in fabric damage and inefficiencies. HKRITA’s innovative solution utilises electro-adhesive force to grasp fabrics without leaving wrinkles. The innovation not only prevents fabric damage but also significantly reduces the time and cost associated with traditional handling methods.

The gripper’s design exemplifies its adaptability and efficiency, propelling the textiles industry towards Industry 4.0.

Innovating dyeing with sustainable techniques

HKRITA metal-organic framework

The institute’s metal-organic framework (MOF) for mordant-free natural dyeing addresses critical environmental concerns associated with synthetic dye production and waste treatment. By eliminating the need for mordants, which can lead to water pollution and health hazards, HKRITA has developed a more sustainable dyeing method.

The method offers an improvement of at least 50% in dye uptake than the conventional natural dyeing method and meets AATCC industrial standards for colourfastness. The dyed fabrics also possess excellent antibacterial properties and causes no skin irritation. It is a forward-thinking response to the European Union’s Industrial Emissions Directive, reducing the potential emission of harmful substances.

Environmental excellence through green technologies

HKRITA microbial consortium

HKRITA’s discovery of a microbial consortium for microplastics degradation in textile sludge and landfill is a novel biological attempt to digest common synthetic fibers, such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic. The entire process is eco-friendly and sustainable. Compared to existing filtration and chemical treatment, it reduces membrane waste and the use of chemical, saving cost on large investment on complicated capex and energy consumption.

Mechanical blended fibre separation system HKRITA

The development of a mechanical blended fibre separation system utilising the triboelectric effect represents groundbreaking advancement. The system promotes circularity in textile recycling by enabling the recovery and reuse of high-quality fibres, such as wool, without the use of water or chemicals. This patented technology is a first in recycling application, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional chemical treatments and contributing to the reduction of waste and pollution.

Fostering social well-being with healthcare textiles

The development of an innovative low-cost mastectomy bra for patients recovering from mastectomy showcases HKRITA’s dedication to medical textiles research. By employing ergonomic design and 3D material engineering technology, HKRITA has created a bra that addresses the specific needs of Asian women post-mastectomy.

HKRITA mastectomy bra

The bra and prosthesis are customised to the wearer’s body, providing improved fit, balance, and comfort. The significance of this development is underscored by the high prevalence of breast cancer in Hong Kong and the challenges patients recovering from mastectomy face in finding suitable post-surgery garments. The bra’s breathable fabric and elastomeric mesh materials address the humid climate of Hong Kong, ensuring wearer comfort.

The social implications of this mastectomy bra are also profound. In collaboration with local NGOs and a social enterprise Comfort Me, the institute has engaged directly with breast cancer survivors to refine the product according to their needs. Comfort Me has even officially taken up the licensee of this technology in November 2023. The project has demonstrated HKRITA’s commitment to creating a positive social impact and supporting the health and wellness of breast cancer patients.

Company Profile


Established in 2006, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) is funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR government and hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

HKRITA contributes to the competitiveness of the textile and apparel industry by providing one-stop services in applied research, technology transfer and commercialisation. HKRITA also plays a vital and expanding role in driving sustainable improvements in the industry and thus bringing benefits to society as a whole.

Contact Details



Tel: +852 26270180