Next-gen materials will only become mainstream with the support and adoption of global brands. MII’s Brand Partnerships department serves as the leading resource for global brands to obtain crucial information about emerging and existing next-gen material technologies. We provide our expertise to brands on partnering with, sourcing from, and investing in next-gen materials companies. We also share industry and technology overviews, offer positioning advice and marketing support, and make introductions to next-gen materials companies.
Developing Research and Insights
MII’s Brand Partnerships department serves as the leading resource for global brands to gain insights into current and expected trends and technologies in the materials industry. We publish annual brand partnerships reports, exclusive consumer research studies, and innovator analyses.
Credit – Luca Distefano Photographer x Orange Fiber
Authoring Next-Gen Materials Brand Partnerships Reports
MII’s reports fill critical knowledge gaps and create more transparency across the next-gen materials ecosystem, providing a strong foundation for the industry to grow. Our Brand Partnership report, the first of its kind in the industry, documents forward-thinking brands that are adopting next-gen materials and details the strategies they are using to meet consumer demand for increased sustainability and animal-free products.
Credit – OceanSafe
Conducting Consumer Research
MII partners with North Mountain Consulting Group (NMCG), a consumer research firm, to conduct original research on consumer perceptions of next-gen materials technologies. Our recent research reveals that consumers in the United States and China are overwhelmingly interested in next-gen materials. Our research also demonstrates that creating, producing, and selling next-gen materials represents an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, brands, engineers, and scientists.
Customized In-Depth Consulting for Brands
The next-gen materials industry is rapidly expanding and evolving. We have a team of experts constantly tracking the entire ecosystem including investor activity, innovators/new start-ups, new science and technology, consumer research, brand collaborations, and future trends. Many brands don’t have the resources in house to stay on top of it all. And that’s where we come in! Our Brand Parternship department offers brands access to our team of experts, who provide comprehensive customized analyses of next-gen materials that meet each brand’s aesthetic, performance, accessibility, and sustainability specifications. We provide our brand partners with a deep understanding of material companies that are openly in the marketplace as well as those in research and development mode.
We also equip brands with an in-depth understanding of these next-gen material technologies, industry and technology overviews, and strategic and sourcing advice. Additionally, we have expertise in environmental impact assessments and can advise brands on how to integrate innovative materials into their ESG strategies to meet their sustainability goals.
Please note: custom consulting is included in certain membership levels and also open to all for a separate fee.
Medium Shopper Caramel – Credit – von Holzhausen
Fostering Collaboration Between Brands and Next-Gen Materials Companies
Our Brand Partnerships department introduces brands to next-gen materials companies for partnership, sourcing, and investment opportunities. Brand collaborations with next-gen materials companies can take multiple forms: brands and next-gen materials companies can co-brand, establish exclusive access partnerships, or create capsule collections; brands can invest in promising material innovation companies; brands can help next-gen materials companies improve their products by offering advice on swatches and performance metrics; and, material companies may, in turn, give brands first access to their material when it comes to market.
MII’s Brand Partnerships report features over 125 partnerships that inspire brands to work with next-gen materials and bring exciting new products to market.
Leading Brand Partnerships Through Events
Our Brand Partnerships department organizes conferences and events that provide brands with the information they need to explore next-gen materials.
Material Innovation Conference
MII’s flagship event, the Material Innovation Conference (MIC) is held annually. MIC focuses on addressing critical issues and providing unique perspectives on the next-gen materials industry’s innovation journey from concept to commercialization. Retailers, brands, entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, academia, business incubators, raw material suppliers, mills, and philanthropies are all part of the industry ecosystem that is represented at this unprecedented global event.
If you want to be notified of the latest details of the conference, visit our page on the Material Innovation Conference.
Speaking Engagements & Webinars
We often host informational webinars, panel discussions, and learning sessions encompassing the world of next-gen materials and sustainability.
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Work With Our Brand PartnershipS Department
If you are a brand interested in exploring the next-gen materials space, MII’s Brand Partnerships department wants to hear from you! Our team is here to help you understand and navigate the emerging next-gen materials industry.
Please write to us and note your interest in the services of the Brand Partnerships department.
Meet MII’s Brand Partnerships Team
Elissa Rosen, Chief Partnerships Officer
Elissa Rosen leads the Brand Partnerships program at MII as Chief Partnerships Officer.
Under her leadership, the Brand Partnerships program serves as the leading resource for global brands to gain insights into current and expected trends and technologies in the industry. Elissa’s team provides expertise to brands on investing, sourcing, and partnering with next-gen material companies.
With nearly 18 years in the fashion and footwear industries, Elissa has worked with many brands and organizations, including Steve Madden, Nine West Group, Wolverine Worldwide, Sperry, Keds, and Hush Puppies. She has led global trend research teams that have guided product innovation and influenced corporate strategies based on market insights and macro trends. Elissa has extensive international experience, including cross-cultural project management, in-market research, and sourcing innovative, sustainable materials at major material trade fairs.
Elissa earned a master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.
Thomasine Dolan, Fashion Specialist
Thomasine Dolan Dow is a Fashion Design Specialist at MII.
As a member of MII’s Brand Partnerships team, Thomasine conducts aesthetic and performance analyses of next-gen materials and assists brands in integrating them into their supply chains.
Thomasine has been in the fashion industry for 25 years. In addition to founding her own line, she worked for Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Armani Exchange, and others, where she held directorial and VP roles. She has consulted for both small and large brands and has a broad understanding of the process and the market.
Thomasine studied Fashion and Sustainability at the London College of Fashion. She also studied ‘Sustainability and the SDGs’ at the University of Michigan.
Brand Partnerships Advisory Council
MII’s Advisory Councils include a variety of experts from around the world who advise and assist MII’s board and staff.
Our Brand Advisory Council includes directors from major global companies, founders and leaders of start-ups, consultants, academics, and experts in sustainability to public relations.
Interested in joining our Innovation team or advisory council? Check out our job openings or reach out for more information.