The materials of the future will be dissolvable, plantable and regenerative. Below, we round up the top five recent innovations in material science, from packaging to luxury fashion.

  • New body wash brand Plus, launched on April 13, 2021, is radically rethinking personal care packaging. The cleanser is packaged in individual sachets made of wood pulp, that dissolve under water.
  • Sway is replacing single-use plastics with regenerative bioplastics made from seaweed. The startup was selected by the Beyond the Bag consortium as a winner in its Beyond the Bag Challenge in February 2021, and plans to begin trialing its seaweed alternative to plastic bags later this year.
  • Biocontributing packaging is gaining steam. Loopeco launched on April 22, 2021 with plantable seeded boxes, while alcohol-free spirits company Seedlip unveiled compostable mycelium packaging in September 2020.
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  • Mushroom leather is going mainstream, thanks to leading fashion and sportswear brands. The most recent brands using mushroom-based leather include Adidas, who released mycelium sneakers in April 2021; Hermès, who unveiled a mycelium version of its classic leather Victoria bag in March 2021; and Stella McCartney, who released the first luxury clothing capsule made out of mushroom-based vegan leather in March 2021.
Spinnova/Bergans Collection of Tomorrow anorak. Image courtesy of Bergans
  • Spinnova, a Finnish startup turning wood into spinnable fiber for wearable textiles, recently announced a partnership with H&M.

Why it’s interesting:

Innovation in material science is paving the way for a creatively sustainable future, making better use of regenerative resources and opening up new avenues for anti-excess consumerism.

For more on sustainable innovation, download our Regeneration Rising: Sustainability Futures report.

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