Microfiber Innovation Challenge announces 12 finalists

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-12-16 07:57:36 – USA

Twelve innovative solutions for reducing plastic microfiber pollution have been chosen as finalists in the Conservation X Labs (CXL) Microfiber Innovation Challenge, with a chance to earn a share of $650,000.

The Ocean Foundation is excited to join 30 other organizations in supporting the Challenge, which aims to find solutions to microfiber contamination, which is becoming a growing concern to human and environmental health.

Erica Nuñez, Program Officer, Redesigning Plastics Initiative of The Ocean Foundation, said that the Ocean Foundation is thrilled to congratulate the finalists of the Microfiber Innovation Challenge as part of their broader relationship with Conservation X Labs to stimulate and improve conservation outcomes. While microplastics are only a small part of the worldwide plastic pollution problem, they must continue to encourage research and development of new and innovative technologies as they engage with the international community to find creative solutions.

Nuñez added that in order to keep plastic out of the oceans, they must first redesign for circularity. This year's finalists have made outstanding ideas about how they might modify materials design processes to lessen their overall impact on the globe and ultimately the ocean. As they continue to collaborate with the global community on creative solutions, supporting research and development of new and innovative technology is very essential.

According to a 2017 assessment by the IUCN, millions of small fibers are shed when we wear and wash our clothes, and these contribute to an estimated 35% of the primary microplastics released into our seas and streams. To eliminate microfiber pollution, textile and garment manufacturing processes must undergo considerable changes.

The Microfiber Innovation Challenge encouraged scientists, engineers, biologists, entrepreneurs, and innovators from all around the world to submit applications demonstrating how their ideas may address the problem at its source, and it received applications from 24 nations.

Conservation X Labs Co-Founder Paul Bunje said that these are some of the most transformative inventions that are needed to create a more sustainable future. They're ecstatic to provide their support to real solutions, companies, and techniques that are combating the ever-increasing plastic pollution catastrophe.

External committees of experts from the sustainable apparel sector, microplastics research experts, and innovation accelerators selected the finalists. The feasibility, potential for growth, environmental impact, and novelty of the concept were all factors considered while judging the innovations. The prize winners will be announced at an event in early 2022 that will include a Solutions Fair and Awards Ceremony.

They are: AlgiKnit, Brooklyn, NY; AltMat, Ahmedabad, India; Graphene-based fibers by Nanoloom, London, UK; Kintra Fibers, Brooklyn, NY; Mango Materials, Oakland, CA; Natural Fiber Welding, Peoria; Orange Fiber, Catania, Italy; PANGAIA x MTIX Microfiber Mitigation, West Yorkshire, UK; Spinnova, Jyväskylä, Finland; Squitex, Philadelphia, PA; TreeKind, London, UK; and Werewool Fibers, New York City, NY.

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