Future of Fabrics - Material Innovation Initiative
Having seen the success of the Good Food Institute (GFI) when it comes to accelerating plant-based foods, Stephanie Downs and Nicole Rawling saw an opportunity to affect change in an industry virtually nobody was talking about: materials. With their brilliant backgrounds, Nicole having set up all GFI's international programs, as well as Stephanie's experience as an entrepreneur, the pair have set up an ecosystem for the industry, Material Innovation Initiative, to bring together scientists, entrepreneurs, brands and investors, transforming textiles as we know them today. We spoke to the pair about a variety of topics, spanning from the history of vegan innovation in the space, to the factors they look at when evaluating startups, and the interwoven complexity of sustainability. We also spoke about the support from large brands and the huge, untapped potential that lies in material entrepreneurship, as well as push-backs from the animal industry when it comes to labelling terms such as 'leather' and what this could mean for the future of marketing for next-gen materials entering the space.