The Material Innovation Initiative accelerates the development of next-generation sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries, with a focus on replacing animal-based materials. We work to shrink the environmental footprint of existing fibers, such as synthetics and cellulose, and to seed plant-based and lab-grown innovations


​We research across industries to identify untapped sources, especially in biological materials.  We publish industry white papers, technology overviews, and assessments to identify key areas for additional research. We collaborate with material manufacturers and biotech companies to provide information on impact through innovation.

The transformation of orange peel and algae into fabric and grape residue into plant-based leather are just a few of the great ideas that have been realized. I’m convinced that technical innovations will be the solution to many of the environmental challenges the textile industry is facing and will contribute to a more sustainable consumption.

Karl-Johan Persson, H&M Group



We connect universities, entrepreneurs, business incubators, start-up networks, and investors. We collaborate with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and scientists to found new companies and we collaborate with existing ventures to assist them to scale. We network with specialty equipment companies and manufacturers open to working with new innovations. We find solutions.

It’s only by working together that we will be able to deliver a systemic shift in the way our industry tackles urgent sustainability challenges and proactively design a future we can all believe in.

Nick Beighton, CEO, ASOS



We conduct global quantitative and qualitative research to better understand consumer perception of materials, both non-animal and animal-based, in order to better market next-gen materials. We help innovators and brands effectively communicate with consumers about  sustainable innovations in the materials industry.

Globally, people are becoming more aware of the impacts their everyday choices can have on the environment. We've seen that small, thoughtful decisions and initiatives can have big impacts and the move toward animal-free fashion around the world is one example of this.

Alyssa Whited, Global Director of Marketing, Call It Spring



​To support the growth of the market for next-gen materials, we are creating an industry ecosystem of retailers, brands, entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, advisors, academia, business incubators, raw material suppliers, mills, and nonprofits. We are at the center of the ecosystem to accelerate industry-side change. By expediting innovation, materials can meet the quality, sustainability, and price point that the industry demands.


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Powered by philanthropy, MII is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID 84-3847333.

© 2019 Material Innovation Initiative