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

10 Proposals
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
A Sustainable Label System for Conscious Consuming
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
Redesign apparel tag to inform consumers of choices they have to minimize environmental impacts of their clothing and footwear selections.
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
Impact Fashion Week (IFW) encourages students to set a new paradigm for interdisciplinary design, equity, and climate solutions.
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
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.
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
Linear (waste-making) economics is the global norm. If we're serious about change in any sector, we must change the economics.
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
Visual recipes of low impact materials for sustainable production and use
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
Establish an independent industry-backed authority that acts as the governing body of a voluntary sustainability pricing framework.
Jun 19, 2016
Team only
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
Jun 17, 2016
Team only
Our model for closed loop textiles reduces the impact of the apparel industry and brings new opportunities to emerging markets
Jun 15, 2016
Team only
Sourceseed is a curated alternative material option platform that allows designers to co-buy fabrics with eachother at an affordable price.