High Fashion International Group

Stitching Sustainability With Innovation: Will Lam, MD, High Fashion International Group
2021.08.13
Stitching Sustainability With Innovation: Will Lam, MD, High Fashion International Group
Picking up on a family passion, Will Lam has raised the bar in intelligent, responsible garment manufacturing. The Managing Director of High Fashion International Group cuts to the chase, advocating innovation, education and the occasional game of chess…Interview by Gafencu:https://www.igafencu.com/r/will-lam-managing-director-of-high-fashion-international-group/.Your family has more than 40 years of experience in the fashion industry. What does fashion mean to you?From a business perspective, I think fashion, simply put, is to fulfil desires. It’s about understanding the constantly changing market and what customers want ­– listening to and meeting those demands.Fashion is ever changing and I’ve had time to build up my knowledge of the industry. Both my parents started fashion businesses, so I was exposed to it early on in life. From a young age, I spent a lot of time watching my parents gain insight into the world of fashion; even our Sundays were spent together visiting brands for a better understanding of the market.What path did your education take, and how has it impacted your professional life?I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong before completing my Master’s at one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, Princeton University. Both experiences were very beneficial to my personal and professional growth. I was especially impressed by the engagement and interactive discussions between students and professors when I was in Princeton University. The students were very intelligent and the professors were supportive; this helped mould how I run my own company.For the past decade, you’ve been the top management of High Fashion, the company founded by your father. Did you have other career aspirations growing up or did you always see yourself within the family fold? I was quite heavily influenced by both my parents. They were both entrepreneurs, and I think witnessing them build their businesses from scratch inspired me to run a business myself.But beyond the fashion industry, I love the technology industry. In fact, our company – as well as my family and I, on a personal level – has invested in several start-ups. We develop ecovation programmes that help young entrepreneurs aspiring to start big businesses. I love new ideas that contribute to innovative business models to transform industries – not only in fashion but every sector of the economy.What have been the major contributing factors to your company’s success?High Fashion is the global leader in silk manufacturing and one of Asia’s leaders in sustainability and providing affordable, luxurious garments. We are also a fully vertical supply chain. We provide a one-stop service for all types of customers from all over the world, from textiles to garment production.I believe that innovation has been the most important factor in our success. Our clients are some of the most well-known brands in the world, and they are constantly looking for unique and creative ways to meet the demands of their consumers. At High Fashion, we seek out new fabrics, new ways of servicing, new re-engineering processes, as well as forms of technologies that allow us to produce a consistent flow of innovative products.But on top of that, our diverse team has been key to the growth of our business. I believe that having an office culture that nurtures creativity is another important factor for a company’s success. We encourage staff to share new ideas and be open to collaborations, and embrace trial and error as part of the learning process.Could you give us an example of how creativity and innovation have boosted your business?I am always grateful to our staff and their support in growing a successful company. In turn, I feel that it is my responsibility to provide them with the best environment in which to perform and grow. We offer platforms that allow them to continue learning, which is especially important now that we see new businesses disrupting traditional organisations. We like to promote a fast-learning culture that encourages staff to learn about new market trends, visit different exhibitions, take part in seminars and network with other professionals. We also guide them through three to five years of career planning, organise management programmes and sponsor Executive MBA programmes outside of our company.This allows the team to consistently contribute new and diverse ideas in meetings. It’s a very effective process that we focus on in order to deliver a continuous stream of innovative products. I believe this is one of the reasons why the majority of our staff have stayed loyal to the company – most of them have been with us for more than 20 to 30 years.You’re known as a supporter of intelligent garment manufacturing. Can you tell us how this has changed and benefited the company’s productivity?I think intelligent garment manufacturing is a trend that will last long into the future. Everyone is talking about the new economy, implying how technology plays a huge role in transforming traditional businesses. Because the garment industry is quite labour intensive, technologies like robotics and digitalisation offer businesses a leg up.We look for ways to capture different ideas that are imbedded in technologies and apply them to garment manufacturing. In the past few years, we’ve spent a lot of time on automation. We were able to increase our productivity by 30 to 40 percent without having to reduce our labour force. And this is just the beginning: we will continue to learn about integrating automation into garment production. New companies are already adopting automation and advanced technology, which is why I believe technology will be an inevitable transition for the garment business, and will transform traditional companies into faster-growing entities.Sustainability has become a hot topic in fashion. Could you share your thoughts on the subject?Sustainability is the key to a more secure future for the generations to come. We hold great value in the initiative to help our customers transition from less sustainable into more sustainable products. This is where my belief in education comes in. Whenever we work with clients and consumers, we inform them about the importance of sustainability and how we can provide them with sustainable products. For example, incorporating sustainable production processes such as recycling and up-cycling.Our factory is one of the best known for sustainability; it holds a green-level certification – the highest level in China – and we are one of the few garment factories that uses solar power to recycle energy throughout the production process. Thinking two or three decades into the future and how our business affects the planet, we will introduce new elements of sustainability in our production process and supply chain wherever possible – ensuring more eco-friendly production that avoids excessive waste and reduces the carbon footprint.Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has also been a priority for High Fashion. Why do you feel it’s so important to give back?I think education is very important; I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to learn a lot when I was at university. Which is why I feel that it’s important to provide that same exposure to youngsters who have limited resources and avenues in which to develop their interests and career path. We strongly support education by providing opportunities for university students to join exchange programmes overseas. We have also built schools in Asia – China, mainly – such as the High Fashion Women’s Institute in Hangzhou that has offered tertiary fashion education for over 10 years.What upcoming projects or new initiatives are you most excited about?Since 2020, we have been working on WL District, a newly renovated, open shared space that allows CEOs and creatives to collaborate and network. Whether hosting an event or holding an exhibition, we aim to provide a space that allows like-minded individuals to come together with their unique backgrounds, expertise and skills. From the concept to the interior design, we’ve put careful consideration into every aspect of creating a venue that inspires creativity, collaboration and innovation.What’s your favourite way to relax? Do you have any hobbies?My favourite sport is tennis. Before I joined the company, I didn’t do much exercise, but I found that exercising helps me both mentally and physically – I feel more energised and focused. You need to be quite determined and disciplined to do well at tennis, and it’s helped me stick to my routine and improve my efficiency.I also like chess, a game my father introduced me to when I was a child. Not only does it help with my concentration and problem-solving skills, it’s an activity that I enjoy doing with friends, as we can catch up over a game. Although it might seem mentally strenuous, I actually find it relaxing: it offers me mental clarity.Thank you.Interview: Roberliza EugenioPhotographer: Jack LawVideographer: Andy WanArt Direction & Styling: Jhoshwa Ledesma
High Fashion Group joining hands with UOB Commercial Banking Academy and hosting a visit for their interns
2021.07.29
High Fashion Group joining hands with UOB Commercial Banking Academy and hosting a visit for their interns
High Fashion Group is glad to be a corporate partner of the UOB Commercial Banking Academy this year. UOB Commercial Banking Academy is an initiative to nurture the future business leaders by providing on-job training and industry exposure to top-notch university students. UOB Hong Kong has partnered Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School to organise an internship programme, the UOB-HKUST Practicum in Commercial World since 2017.High Fashion Group has been invited to be a corporate partner of the UOB Commercial Banking Academy by hosting a visit to our office.Our Managing Director, Well Lam, had an inspiring conversation with all the energetic participating university students on the global fashion, innovation and sustainability trend.We organised an office tour and showcased our Silkism products to everyone.High Fashion and UOB will consistently take on social responsibility and seek to make a positive difference to the community.
High Fashion Centre, Office for Hong Kong Headquarter, Officially Opened
2021.06.28
High Fashion Centre, Office for Hong Kong Headquarter, Officially Opened
The day of 31 July is of special significance to High Fashion Group. The revitalization of the industrial building project which took 2.5 years has been officially completed. This former traditional industrial building has transformed into a modern and fashionable office building, High Fashion Centre (HFC). Not only the building facilities and hardware of HFC have been upgraded, but it has also been infused with the concept of “WL District (WLD), Co-Working & Sharing Space”, offering a unique and premium working space in the district.WLD is an initiative of co-working and shared office space. Taking the shared space facilities established in WLD Hangzhou as reference, we redefined the building with more diversified functions than ordinary office buildings. HFC is located at the heart of Kwai Chung, close to the MTR station. Situated at the mouth of a major highway in Hong Kong, it is very convenient to travel to and from mainland China, Hong Kong International Airport, West Kowloon High Speed Railway Station and CBDs like Tsim Sha Tsui and Central. HFC aims to serve as an international fashion and technology co-working hub, which provides a modern and digitalized office area for our tenants.HFC has a number of shared facilities, including 9 fully equipped shared conference rooms for video conferencing, 3 shared coffee and cafe spaces, a rooftop garden that can hold sizable events, and a large space on the 12th floor suitable for product display, with modern and stylish design.Colleagues gathered at the gate of the new office building at 6:45 in the morning on the day of the opening. The venerables started the purification ceremony at 7 o'clock. Everyone put their palms together, chanting for about fifteen minutes, then they walked around the building. The whole ceremony was completed in about an hour, and then everyone went to the meeting room to have breakfast.The founder of High Fashion Group, Mr. Lam, together with the two venerables talked about the Buddhist Scriptures, uttering the concepts of "purify your heart", "wisdom", etc., and also shared his own enlightenment, "The purification ceremony teaches us how to purify the heart and how to gain wisdom. Wisdom can contribute to your physical and mental health. At the same time, it allows you to face the endless challenges of life, ups and downs, and High Fashion can do better because of this." We must hold strong belief in heart so that we can utilise wisdom to face everything.In a shared boardroom that can accommodate more than 60 people, suitable for large meetings.It is a rare opportunity to be able to gather with the venerables. Mr. Lam encouraged everyone to ask questions and communicate with each other. The venerables answered the questions patiently, and the atmosphere was full of harmony and joy. The whole ceremony ended with a specially arranged vegetarian meal at noon.High Fashion Group has came with a new look in the revamped HFC, reaching another milestone in the business. During the pandemic, High Fashion people unite and work together with continuous innovation, truth-seeking beliefs and wisdom to break through from adversity and start a new chapter.
High Fashion (China) Awarded Global Recycle Standard (GRS) Certificate – Green and Sustainable Development, Pioneering Innovation
2021.06.28
High Fashion (China) Awarded Global Recycle Standard (GRS) Certificate – Green and Sustainable Development, Pioneering Innovation
We are delighted to announce that High Fashion (China) Co., Ltd has been awarded Global Recycle Standard (GRS) Certificate. High Fashion (China) Co. Garment Branch is qualified to provide customers with globally recognized GRS products on women’s apparel, dyed fabrics and packaging.The First Page of High Fashion (China) GRS CertficateThe Global Recycle Standard (GRS) was originally developed by Control Union Certifications at the request of the textile industry. In 2008, it announced the GRS version 1.1 and carried out pilot certification with various international brands. The ownership of GRS was passed to the Textile Exchange on 1 January, 2011 to ensure there is no conflict of interest. On 1 Jul, 2017, GRS version 4.0 was released and took effect. GRS not only regulates the source of raw materials, but also monitors product recycling/recycled contents, chain of custody control, social responsibility, environment, health and safety, wastewater treatment, and chemical use in the production process. Only the enterprises that comply with these standards can be awarded the certificate.As the public awareness on environment increases, major international brands continue to pay more attention to products like apparel, bags, shoes and accessories made from recycled and reused regenerated fibres. These “green” products are widely favoured by consumers in the European and American markets. High Fashion (China) began to plan various sustainable development certifications for the company in 2019, and GRS was also listed as one of our certification projects in 2020. Due to the impact of the pandemic, the time of certification was delayed for several months. After 3 months of document and on-site preparations, we eventually successfully obtained the certificate before the end of 2020. This GRS certification covers knitting, manufacturing, trading, dyeing, finishing, printing and extrusion. That is to say, as long as the raw materials provided by the supplier hold the GRS certificate, the woven garments and trim packaging bags can use GRS labels, and transaction certificates (TC) can be issued to customers.Sample label of GRSThe earning of the GRS certification goes consistent with the business philosophy of "Focus on Technological Progress”, “Emphasis on Product Innovation”, and “Evolve over Time" advocated by High Fashion, and we are able to offer customers and consumers with a greener and safer products with less environmental impact.
High Fashion Qianjiang International Science and Technology Industrial Park Listed as a Key Industrial Project in Xianshan District, Hangzhou
2020.10.30
High Fashion Qianjiang International Science and Technology Industrial Park Listed as a Key Industrial Project in Xianshan District, Hangzhou
Recently, Xiaoshan Daily News reported that the opening ceremony of major projects for expanding effective investment in Xiaoshan District was held. 36 key projects with a total investment of RMB 38.48 billion kicked off with a planned investment of RMB 4.47 billion for the year.As one of the key industrial projects in 2020, the High Fashion Qianjiang International Science and Technology Industrial Park project, with a total investment of RMB 770 million, has drawn much attention.On July 28, the groundbreaking ceremony of High Fashion Qianjiang International Science and Technology Industrial Park project was successfully held. Mr. Well Lam, Managing Director of High Fashion (China) Co., Ltd., elaborated his ideas on the three key points of the future development of the Industrial Park: creation, intelligent manufacturing, and internationalization. He advised in order to grow and develop, High Fashion must move towards new manufacturing processes to enter a new milestone of platform-based development which is compatible with AI, big data, and automation, improving production efficiency and keeping pace and growing along with international development. As an enterprise in Hong Kong, High Fashion must act as a bridge for internationalization and build the Industrial Park as an ecological platform to gather global talents and lead global fashion.The 36 projects to be started cover multiple industries and fields such as new smart manufacturing, new materials, biomedicine, modern logistics, social undertakings, public rental housing, and the Asian Games municipal supporting facilities. There are three main characteristics: first, the investment intensity is high, with an average investment intensity of RMB 1.07 billion for a single project, including 4 projects exceeding RMB 3 billion and two projects exceeding RMB 5 billion; secondly is the excellent composition of investment, there are 26 projects in industrial and service industries with an investment of RMB 29.42 billion, accounting for 76.4% of the total investment; thirdly, there are many livelihood initiatives, including the Xiaoshan Urban Cultural Park project with an investment of RMB 4.54 billion, the largest investment in the cultural field in recent years, as well as school construction projects and municipal projects in the Asian Games Village area.
United in Fighting Against Coronavirus |Tong Yifeng, Member of the Standing Committee of Xiaoshan District Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department, led his team to inspect High Fash
2020.02.17
United in Fighting Against Coronavirus |Tong Yifeng, Member of the Standing Committee of Xiaoshan District Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department, led his team to inspect High Fash
On February 13, Tong Yifeng, member of the Standing Committee of the Xiaoshan District Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department, led Deputy Minister Shen Wenzhen and his team to visit High Fashion (China) and inspect our work resumption arrangements, as well as the implementation of our infection prevention and control measures. The company leaders thanked the Minister and his team for their visit and care, and reported briefly about the current progress of the company’s work resumption and its coming plans.“How many workers are returning to work today?” “Have workers from other provinces returned to work already?” “What difficulties is the company currently facing which need the government’s assistance and coordination?” Having learnt about the company’s plan on arranging workers to return to work in batches and its strict policies (e.g. sterilising public spaces, production areas, company dormitories and canteen daily, doing mandatory temperature checks for individuals entering or leaving the park area, keeping sufficient stock of medical supply and promoting information about infection prevention), the Minister and his team complimented High Fashion on its proactive approach and hard work.At the same time, Tong emphasized that when enterprises proceed with the complete resumption of work, they should always put the health and safety of workers first. During this critical period when infection prevention and control must be strictly carried out, companies should undertake corporate responsibility, that is working hard on both infection prevention and the resumption of production. If difficulties arise during the process, the government will provide assistance if needed with the aim to help enterprises resume work in a safe and orderly manner. These encouraging words further raised High Fashion’s confidence in proceeding with work resumption.Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, High Fashion has strictly monitored the entry and exit of workers, and the curfew of the park and dormitories. On the first day of work resumption, workers had to go through mandatory steps such as checking of face masks, health code and body temperature, and identity verification. Although the long queues made entry to the park area less convenient, workers showed understanding towards the company’s new policies.In order to alleviate congestion at the entrances, the company set up three body temperature checkpoints. Checkpoint for the Garment Branch was set up at the first left-turn lane. Checkpoint for the knitting and trimmings division and the headquarters was set up at the main road before the roundabout. Checkpoint for the printing and dyeing centre was set up at the centre’s entrance gate. This diversion arrangement has improved the overall order.Volunteers at each checkpoint guided the traffic diversion and carried out the procedures of checking and registration. They secure the frontline of High Fashion’s infection control and workers’ safety and health with strong commitment. Their sense of responsibility has led to the orderly management of infection prevention and control.Knowing that the outbreak has not ended, we will go on to step up our effort. In the coming days, High Fashion will continue to do its best to implement infection prevention and control measures, improve the efficiency of epidemic prevention, and prepare the necessary conditions for safe resumption of work. We will strive to ensure that both infection prevention and work resumption are carried out smoothly and provide a safe working environment for High Fashion’s employees.