Material Innovation Initiative: Investments in next-generation materials are on the rise

The Material Innovation Initiative (MII), has released a new State of the Industry Report. It states that there is still interest in next-generation materials. After it discovered that investments have increased to more than 2.3 billion dollars in the sector since 2015.

Next-Gen materials (or ‘Next-Gen) are animal-friendly alternatives for traditional materials like leather, fur, and exotic skins. Next-Gen materials are often made using biomimicry techniques that replicate animal-based textiles. These can then be used in different industries’ supply chains.

Next-Gen methods are gaining popularity due to increased consumer demand and the increasing need for sustainable materials. Investors have reportedly jumped on the trend to secure their position in this fast-growing sector.

MII reports that Next-Gen material producers saw a total number of 187 investors since 2015. 55 new firms have been formed since 2014, bringing the sector’s total to 95. The total amount raised by the top-funded company was 863.6 million dollars.

In 2021, 980 million dollars were raised.

Next-Gen leather is the most in-demand of all the companies that are currently working on the material. There are 67 of them. Through brand partnerships and scalable solutions, alternative leather has gained international recognition thanks to companies like Mink, Beyond Leather, and Ananas Anam.

Next-Gen silk is the next generation of leather. There are now 12 producers for Next-Gen silk, while fur and wool have seven and down six, respectively, and exotic skins only one.

The number of investment deals has not increased, but the MII reported that 980 million dollars had been raised in total in 2021. This is twice the amount invested in 2020. According to the report, companies will continue to develop and prove their concepts, which could lead to even larger deal sizes.

More and more brands are joining the Next-Gen material wave. According to MII’s report, 38 of the 40 most prominent fashion brands are actively looking for textile alternatives. A wide range of labels have been included in the organization’s “First Movers” list.

The MII highlighted 150 industry leaders for their work, including Ganni, Pangaia and Karl Lagerfeld. The MII stated that the selected companies will increase their revenue by demonstrating their positive impact on animals and the environment. Each company has specific targets to reduce their environmental impact and offer material innovators concrete opportunities.

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