MII's 2022 report reveals next-gen material companies raised US$456.75 mn in 2022

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-03-09 13:18:41 – USA

In 2022, next-generation material firms raised at least $456.75 million from 28 publicly reported acquisitions, according to a new study available for free from the Napa, California-based Material Innovation Initiative (MII), a non-profit research organization.

Next-gen materials, according to MII, are direct substitutes for current animal-based leather, silk, fur, down, wool, and exotic skins that are both animal-free and environmentally preferable. They use a variety of biomimicry techniques to mimic the appearance and functionality of their animal-based counterparts.

It further divides the sources of these materials into six groups: plant-derived, mycelium-derived, animal cells grown in a laboratory, microbe-derived, recycled materials, and mixtures.

Although innovation in synthetics like bio-based, biodegradable, and recycled polyester or polyurethane could have a broad impact on the plastics and textiles industries as a whole, and in some cases in the next-gen materials space, disruptive textile technologies are not specific to next-gen materials and are therefore outside the purview of the MII report.

In order to give innovators a simple way to locate possible partners, MII has produced a separate list of disruptive textile innovation resources. This list includes broad players and technologies that have the potential to become interesting feedstocks or resources for next-gen material innovation.

Elaine Siu, chief innovation officer of MII, stated that 2022 would present a more difficult investment environment than 2021, when investments peaked at $1,135 million, in an online seminar that was webcast on February 28.

Siu added that the year 2022 would likely be recognized as the year of a crackdown on greenwashing in the fashion sector because the fashion world also saw a year of reckoning last year. It was the year when the Higg Index, one of the most widely used metrics for gauging the environmental effect of the fashion industry, was put on hold for further review. Some believe that until industry stakeholders get a greater understanding and agreement on how to communicate with consumers on this delicate and complex subject, there will be less sustainability marketing.

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