Jun 29, 2021
by Robert Marshall
New Report Says “Next-Gen” Materials Will Be a $2.2B USD Wholesale Market by 2026
by Robert Marshall
Jun 29, 2021

Material Innovation Initiative’s newest reportState of the Industry: Next-Gen Materials — analyzes the sustainable, cruelty-free materials industry across fashion, footwear, automotive, and home goods.

Material Innovation Initiative (MII) is a non-profit organization that connects startups, investors and brands in the hopes of accelerating the development of next-gen, environmentally-responsible materials. MII does it all, from industry data collection and forecasting, to advising on industrial scaling, investor relations, and so much more.

The aforementioned report gives a detailed overview of the nascent sustainable materials industry. “It provides an overview of the key players involved, considers driving forces accelerating the development of next-gen materials, and provides market projections of the global wholesale next-gen materials market,” said MII of the report. “It is a valuable resource for material innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and brands considering entering the space.”

The report details where exactly the sustainable textile industry exists in the larger materials industry. Currently, there’s 74 next-gen materials companies throughout the world, 42 of which were formed within the last seven years. From 2015 to May 2021, MII calculated that $1.29 billion USD has been invested into these companies and their industry, with $504 million USD raised in 2020 alone. 


Maybe the most astounding bit of data from the report forecasts the growth of the next-gen materials global wholesale market. MII projects the industry will reach $2.2 billion USD by 2026. For context, the market hit $65 million USD in 2020. 

To reiterate, this figure looks at the wholesale market, rather than retail, as MII’s mission is to accelerate talent and investment in the material supply space. What’s more is that MII’s report does not include “current-gen” material alternatives, such as plastic-based leathers and materials, as they too negatively impact our planet in various ways.

Clearly, evident by our existence and your presence, none of this news should come as a surprise. Especially when you consider the alternative meat boom and the evolving consumer consciousness around carbon emissions, animal welfare, and representation and inclusion. 

Take for example McKinsey & Company’s July 2020, where it stated that 67% of surveyed consumers consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor, while 63% consider a brand’s promotion of sustainability in the same way.

You can read more about the growing next-gen materials industry by just perusing our newsfeed — but you already know that. But to help you get started, here’s a few related stories to check out: this month, adidas invested over $3M USD in materials company Spinnova; a new apple-based material called Leap is about to hit the market; and Nike reimagined some of its classic sneakers with a pineapple-based textile.

To read the report in full, head over to