Fung Group’s Cobalt Fashion opens Hong Kong innovation lab

Cobalt Fashion, one of the world’s largest knitwear groups, has opened a CS Innovation Lab at its refurbished Hong Kong headquarters.

Originally created as a joint venture between Li & Fung and South Ocean Knitters Holdings in October last year, Cobalt Fashion is now 55 per cent-owned by the Fung Group and 45 per cent by Hony Capital. It has four knitwear divisions serving brands and retailers worldwide across a wide range of market segments from mass market to premium.

The CS Innovation Lab is a collaboration between Cobalt Fashion and Shima Seiki, the Japanese company behind the world’s most advanced computerised flat-knitting machines. The two companies say the Lab will allow them to collaborate more closely on areas including advancing 3D and virtual-design capabilities and in driving efficiency gains in the design-to-production part of the supply chain.

A technician operating a Shima Seiki digital knitting machine in the CS Innovation Lab

A technician operating a Shima Seiki digital knitting machine in the CS Innovation Lab


The Lab offers an environment to experiment and create rapid prototypes, with the partnership combining Cobalt Fashion’s market intelligence, sourcing capabilities and extensive knowledge in knitwear and yarn with Shima Seiki’s advanced knitting technology.

Cobalt Fashion’s new Design Hub, which has just opened in the same complex, will service all the company’s divisions.

“Cobalt Fashion is innovation-led and the Lab enables us to discover the ideas, technologies and solutions to produce better materials and knitwear for our customers,” said Leung Wai Ping, Cobalt Fashion’s CEO.

“Since joining forces with South Ocean last year, we have built a world-class knitwear company with design and production capabilities to supply the best global brands and retailers. In Shima Seiki, we have now found a strong technology partner. The Lab is an exciting next step in our journey to innovate and redefine the knitwear industry with cutting-edge knitwear technology,” he said.

*Featured image: Ribbon cutting at the opening ceremony of Cobalt’s CS Innovation Lab.


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