Brand Engagement Report: 100+ Brands Adopting Next-Gen Materials

Feb 10, 2022 | News, Press Release

Discover top brands’ strategies for meeting consumer demand for increased sustainability and animal-free products

This first-of-its-kind report documents forward-thinking early-mover brands like UGG, Gucci, and BMW adopting next-gen materials to reach goals ranging from increasing environmental sustainability to decreasing animal cruelty. The report details the various strategies they are using to meet consumer demand for increased sustainability and animal-free products.


Over 110 Global Brands Profiled

The world’s leading fashion, automotive, and home goods companies are integrating next-gen materials into their products through partnerships, in-house innovation, investment, and advisory services. The report explains each of these strategies with over 110 examples, including:

Image credit: Gucci’s New Ace sneaker made with Demetra

  • Adidas & Bolt Threads

  • Allbirds & Natural Fiber Welding
  • Nike & Piñatex

  • UGG & Lenzing

  • BMW & Natural Fiber Welding

  • Mercedes-Benz & Deserttex,

  • Mylo and AMSilk

  • Toyota Boshoku & Spiber

  • Gucci & Demetra

  • H&M & Pangaia

  • Hermès & MycoWorks

  • Karl Lagerfeld and Amber Valletta & Desserto

  • Stella McCartney & Bolt Threads

Hitting the Trifecta

Animal-free next-gen materials hit the trifecta for today’s brands: meeting consumer demand, hitting sustainability goals, and avoiding animal welfare issues,” notes Elaine Siu, MII’s Chief Innovation Officer. “This report outlines how brands can adopt these materials into their products, taking advantage of all these benefits.”

Image credit: Hermès Victoria bag made with Sylvania from MycoWorks

As we have documented in other research, consumer demand for more sustainable and cruelty-free products is high and growing. In the United States, 94% of consumers surveyed are likely to purchase next-gen materials, with 90% of Chinese consumers surveyed actually preferring next-gen materials over animal-based materials.

Furthermore, the majority of brands’ environmental impact generally comes from their raw materials: most brands estimate between 60-80% of a product’s environmental footprint is just from the raw material. Animal-based materials have some of the highest negative environmental impacts. Luckily, animal-free next-gen materials are poised to have lower environmental impacts than both animal-derived materials and synthetics.

Finally, using animals as commodities for their skin, hair, fur, feathers, or silk inherently involves animal cruelty – a problem solved with animal-free next-gen materials.

“With so many new next-gen material options coming to market, brands and consumers will soon have more choices than animal-based leather, wool, silk, down, fur, and exotic skins,” says MII’s Chief Executive Officer Nicole Rawling.



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Why we need next-gen materials

Animal-derived materials, particularly leather, are widely used in the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries. Production of animal-derived materials drives climate change, environmental degradation, public health risks, and animal cruelty. The current generation of alternatives – petroleum-derived synthetics – also comes with serious environmental and social concerns. We need more sustainable, next-gen alternatives with optimal aesthetics and performance. A broad ecosystem of innovators is rapidly growing to address this urgent need.


Discover recent advances in science and technology that are paving the way for next-gen innovation which meet the sustainability, performance, aesthetic, and price needs of brands and consumers, including precision fermentation, tissue engineering and bioprinting, mycelial growth, novel composites technologies, and bioplastics.