SIP Commits HK$0.9 million Loan to Kibo

Hong Kong, 19 July 2023 – Social Impact Partners (“SIP”), a pioneering venture philanthropy fund in Hong Kong, announces its investment of a HK$0.9 million loan in Kibo, a footwear company committed to ethical material sourcing and the integration of social and sustainability practices throughout its value chain.

Kibo specializes in creating timeless sneaker designs, aiming to steer consumers away from fast fashion through both direct-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) models. The company places a strong emphasis on utilizing recycled and natural materials, such as recycled leather certified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), post-consumer plastic bottles, recycled cotton, and natural rubber and cork. This thoughtful selection of materials ensures a combination of comfort, support, durability, and sustainability.

To further reinforce their dedication to sustainability, Kibo employs a distinctive process to produce a leather-like material. They repurpose discarded leather trimmings or scraps by grinding them into fibers and blending them with other environmentally friendly materials, resulting in a lighter and more durable alternative to full-grain leather. Moreover, Kibo's manufacturing process is free from solvents and toxins, as the fibers are compressed using a patented high-pressure water jet system, eliminating the need for tanning procedures. This process enables 95% of the water used to be recycled and reused, establishing an effective closed-loop system.

Additionally, Kibo is spearheading a pioneering ESG project in Asia in collaboration with several prestigious five-star hotel groups. The project's objective is to provide sustainable footwear options for hotel staff, addressing the limited availability of safe and comfortable footwear in the service industry. By incorporating sustainable materials into the production of workplace footwear, including oil- and slip-resistant shoes, Kibo aims to significantly reduce workplace injuries and promote the well-being of employees, particularly in the hospitality, food, and beverage sectors.

SIP recognizes the significant social impact generated by Kibo's innovative and sustainable approach to footwear manufacturing. With SIP's financial support, Kibo intends to expand its presence in the school shoe market, offering affordable and sustainable school shoes to underprivileged families.

The investment decision underwent a comprehensive due diligence process conducted by SIP's strategic partners, which include Mayer Brown, KPMG, Pacific Risk, and Egon Zehnder.

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