Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Contest Image

Materials Matter 2016

VIEW Proposals
Proposal creation

CoLab members create proposals

Jan 15, 2016 08:00 EST - May 23, 2016 08:00 EDT
Semi-Finalist selection
Expert judges select semi-finalists

May 23, 2016 08:00 EDT - Jun 10, 2016 02:00 EDT
Proposal revisions
Semi-finalists can improve their proposals

Jun 10, 2016 02:00 EDT - Jun 19, 2016 11:00 EDT
Finalist selection
Expert judges select finalists

Jun 19, 2016 11:00 EDT - Jul 5, 2016 12:00 EDT
Voting period
Public Voting Period

Jul 5, 2016 12:00 EDT - Aug 1, 2016 12:00 EDT
Winners are awarded

Aug 1, 2016 12:00 EDT
Fabrics and textiles impact our climate -- a lot. How can we spark a materials revolution by rethinking how we value and use them?

The materials we use to clothe ourselves and cover our things have a profound impact on the climate.  They are all around us – in the furniture we sit on, the cars we drive and the clothes we wear. The fact is, materials matter.  According to research compiled by MIT Materials System Lab, approximately 25 billion kilograms of cotton was produced worldwide in 2013, resulting in the same annual GHG emissions as 51.3 million passenger vehicles.  Enough leather is produced annually to cover the state of Maryland (double the size of the greater London area). Polyester production for use in textiles this year alone is estimated to generate as much greenhouse gas emissions as the annual emissions of 185 coal fired power plants. That’s a material issue. 

Developing new material compositions and reducing the impact of fabric production is necessary, but not sufficient to reduce the climate impact of industries that rely on fabrics. Before we can advance and scale innovation in materials, we need to build an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist. We need to redefine society's relationship with fabrics and textiles. This contest seeks novel and well thought-out ideas on how to engage industries, designers, product creators and the public in valuing, demanding and adopting lower impact materials. See our launch video here

37 Proposals
Sourceseed is a curated alternative material option platform that allows designers to co-buy fabrics with eachother at an affordable price.
A Sustainable Label System for Conscious Consuming
Establish an independent industry-backed authority that acts as the governing body of a voluntary sustainability pricing framework.
Our proposal will offer a revolutionary garment collection and app service as a plug-in on the already popular App such as NIKE plus running
Our model for closed loop textiles reduces the impact of the apparel industry and brings new opportunities to emerging markets
Redesign apparel tag to inform consumers of choices they have to minimize environmental impacts of their clothing and footwear selections.
Impact Fashion Week (IFW) encourages students to set a new paradigm for interdisciplinary design, equity, and climate solutions.
We love our apparel, but when the time comes and our love has faded, let’s not forget that there is remaining value in these items.
Linear (waste-making) economics is the global norm. If we're serious about change in any sector, we must change the economics.
Visual recipes of low impact materials for sustainable production and use
Utilize wind-energy to power cotton yarn-spinning-knitting technology near fiber origin regions like North Texas to reduce negative impact.
The smart shoe captures energy from movements and lets the wearer use it when accessibility to an outlet is out of the question.
Making sustainability achievable on a global scale by making it experiential on a human scale.
Why reinvent the wheel? Nature has engineered remarkable materials that support modern living. Enter Poly6, enter citrus-based materials.
Leveraging Nike's innovative and sustainable business model to transform global society, and unleash rhapsodic human potential.
Incorporate a lock and load method for uppers and soles, enabling customers to build their shoes and maintain its quality and aesthetic.
Create a mall kiosk where customers can step into a booth for measurements, select a fashion, and print out clothing.
Imperative ways to reduce the carbon footprint of washing clothes and practical solutions involving masses are discussed in this proposal.
Hyperloops for Humanity, the Environment, and Profits: A Mediterranean Marine Hyperloop/Refugee/Environmental Collaborative Proposal
The existential need for a comprehensive global scale carbon negative infrastructure and consumer materials revolution is supported below.
An interactive awareness campaign & business model to reduce Green house emisisons and encourage people to adopt low carbon impact products.
Augmented reality tags for Nike products, scan it to educate users about the climate change concern and complete a quiz to earn discount.
Noble material, linen is an all natural fibre that requires no chemicals for growth or for its transformation.
The strong threads made from jute fibre are used worldwide in sackcloth - and help sustain the livelihoods of millions of small farmers.
Easy to grow without agrochemicals, hemp is used increasingly in agrotextiles, car panels and fibreboard, and "cottonized" for clothing.
CarbonNeutralCheckout™ is designed by CCC to assist organizations in reducing the carbon footprint of the products and services they sell.
Utilize relationships with industry inflencers to build a social network enabling painless and economical access to alternative materials.
The proposal envisage utilization of water hyacinth for textile organic fibre sythesis and its utilization in the treatment of dye effluent.
Reign & Co. is built on a holistic sustainable design process, where products and services are created within a closed-loop system.
Creating one product completely without composites will dramatically reduce the recycling cost of current multi-material products.
We make microbes that convert post-consumer polyester back into their raw materials. Same raw materials can be used to make new polyester.
To reduce heat/ and cold, inflammation and recovery time. Controlling power usage at home and maintaining an overall sense of well being
Use pressure and heat at deep ocean floor to transform algae biomass into hydrocarbon-based fabrics at industrial scale.