The 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Summit reported that fashion is responsible for 92 million tons of solid waste dumped in landfills each year and that it is also the second-biggest consumer of water, producing 20 percent of global wastewater. These numbers, in addition to the ones generated by the other industrial sectors using textiles, are shocking.


The Prize is an opportunity to reduce in the tangible way the ecological disruptive impact caused by the textile industry considered, second to oil, the largest polluter in the world. We are asking for surprising new technological and innovative textile materials and projects, to be used in multiple sectors.

11 – Papayapie – Evanescent

Coral reefs support half a billion people and a quarter of all marine life. However, they are on the front line of climate change. Over the last three years, we have seen the biggest coral die-off ever. We are rapidly running out of time to save them, and we won’t get a better opportunity than this year to turn things around.
As an individual, i can take action to change the fate of our world’s oceans.
As an artist I feel responsible to present the story of our oceans in ways that engage a global audience and create awareness that leads to the necessary action”.
In 2016 my work focused on creating awareness about the impact of climate change on coral reef.

Entirely created with recycled materials, primarily with hand stitches, EVANESCENT, (2016-2018, 200x400cm) — is a textile and mixed-media sculpture, which portrays coral bleaching caused by climate change.

106 – Don Yaw Kwaning – Lino Leather

Lino leather is a material research into linoleum. Changes have been made in the production process and in the substance composition of linoleum, in order to develop a more tactile material with a wider range of application possibilities.

Linoleum is made from natural materials like: linseed oil, wood fibres, pine resin, limestone and lignin. Unfortunately, the material created with these components is still, after 100 years, mainly applied as a flooring material. But by leaving out the pigments and the limestone and by pressing a fibre net in between two layers of Lino leather, the material gains depth, becomes more flexible and self-supporting and gains the advantage of two useable sides instead of one. The combination of these characteristics has led to a vegan material that is similar to saddle leather and can be applied in furniture and fashion accessories.

Larger commercial interior and fashion companies that offer products made from a ‘vegan’ leather material, often use materials made from polyester. This is very misleading since these materials are not directly harmful to animals but are still toxic for the environment. Because Lino leather is created out of a commercial material that can be produced on a very large scale, this new material can play an important role as a real vegan substitute for these polystyrene ‘vegan’ leather like materials used by larger commercial companies.

To meet the commercial standards, the existing flooring material linoleum contains a lot of pigments to prevent colour change, which results in a material without any dept. Next to that, linoleum is rolled as smooth as possible. These features can give linoleum a bleak and sterile look. Because Lino leather is created out of a more soft and flexible substance than Linoleum, the material can gain a rumen leather like texture during production. This characteristic, in addition to the materials heavy weight makes Lino leather also suitable as an acoustic wall covering.

116 – Eliška Janečková – Rawie

Based on my findings, I would like to suggest a simplification of the fabric manufacturing process. It is not necessary to process the natural fibers into threads and weave the threads into the actual fabric.

​Pouring the bioplastic on the fibers create a sturdy material.
Since the bioplastic can be made water-resistant, it is possible to use the resulting fabric for various products such as raincoats and tents.

I am also reflecting on our preconceptions regarding ownership of durable, long-lasting products: We no longer need products that last a lifetime, ones that can even be passed down to future generations. Instead, this temporal framework is more concerned with sustainable development.

My idea is based on the notion of Blue Economy – having served its purpose, the organic product can be buried in the soil and provide nutrition for the growth of new organisms.

Normally, it takes about 7 years for the bioplastic to degrade, but its properties can be modified so as to speed up the degradability.

133 – Pauline Esparon – L’ecoucheur

While growing and being scutched in Europe, 80% of flax nowadays has to be exported to China to be combed, spun and weaved before being reimported. This economical situation contradicts the sustainable growth of the fiber and its local culture. By working directly with the scutched fibers, this project aims to presents new aspects, tactilities and properties of linen, often standardized in weaving forms. From automotive industries to upholstering crafts, from mattresses factories to composite textiles, the project also aims to tweak, encourage and diversify a local network of production, based in Normandy.

194 – Ela Cios – Lamella

Lamella textile is a result of the design research and regards several aspect of new purpose for alternative materials. The aim was to create innovative textile were simple yet unique and which involve the waste source. The mission was to go in invention and ingenuity in the finding new application for an old substance. To reuse plastic became the main issue for searching potential in material that is a trash-problem. These days almost everything is packed. Many of packing are only once used and becoming another waste. By own experience as a consumer I started to collect packages from fruit and vegetables. The beauty of plastic mesh, the irregular structure and bright color inspired me to use them again. Design focused on innovative development of plastic as a combination of new composites. By experiment of thermo-lamination for layering fabrics I created many samples of patterns and components. Upcycled plastic mesh, leftover fabrics from production sectors, several samples of laminate – together build overall structure of surprising material. The result is a new and exciting textile that utilized the plastic combination by lamination with natural fibers. This research includes psychological aspect as design aim. The composite materials as plastic and natural fibers can give the capacity to enhance emotional bonding between product and user. Unique textile gives potential for technological development and is open for progress. Lamella is dedicated for interior design, fashion sectors and different territories of usability.

204 – Femke van Gemert – Nasty Nets-Work

Studies have shown that tiny plastic particles are not only around us but are inside of us as well. Many of these micro-nano plastic releasing agents are not even considered as plastic by the general public. For example, the mesh fruit nets commonly used in fruit and vegetable packaging found in supermarkets. Plastic recycling factories are unable to recycle them as they get tangled up in the shredding machines used, resulting in the nets ending up in incinerators and landfill; Polluting the air, land and water.

In the installation Nasty Nets-work, I address this by making the polyethylene fruit nets an example of this. The use of these plastic nets to carry fruits and vegetables is contradictory. People are not aware that these soft nets are 100 % plastic (generally polyethylene) and that by tearing them open, this releases tiny particles that circulate through the air that we breathe. Often, they are the only option in supermarkets for most fruit and vegetable packaging. They are single used plastics and should be banned!

But look at these mesh nets differently as they are one of the most awesome colourful plastics available! As much as they are available as waste, they are in abundance as a material as well!

By collecting these fruit nets from my direct circle of friends, neighbours and family I have created a new material and brought awareness to all of the contributors through the process of collecting their own nets at home. By using an iron with moderate heat, several layers of nets are composed and connected together. This bonds the polyethylene fibres closer together so they do not release such tiny particles as before.

The design of the work happens when the nets are placed over and next to each other. Here, a beautiful, voluminous yet translucent, new “skin” that is both irregular and organic comes to life. Made from these incredibly cheap, single use, polyethylene nets.


273 – Katya Pititskaya – Kaleidoscope

(Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures: Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.…
Genesis 9:15)
Katya’s new collection of hand-knotted carpets “Kaleidoscope” is inspired by the the spectrum of sunlight and moonlight. It is a reflection of the dyes of heaven, glittering water, and all shades of pearls.
A kaleidoscope of our elusive and magical reality.

Just like the sparkles, a reminder of our past mistakes. Beautiful sometimes but also completely distructive for the magic of our world. And sometimes these mistakes linger and become a part of who we are.

The carpet is completely made of ocean plastic transformed into an artpiece. This is to remind us that we humans are responsible for our actions in “life kaleidoscope” and that we are its only creator.

299 – Baiba Soma – Expired White

Expired white started from broad research (Why white) about the ridiculous ways of white colour applications throughout history. The woven objects aim to show the beauty of the white plastic ageing process as over time white turns yellow or grey due to exposure to the various weather conditions. Expired white intends to uncover the potential of reusing the plastic cables as raw material and giving a new function to once cherished white goods. The weaving technique is taken from old craftsmanships, such as fishing trap weaving. The inspiration for applying old craft techniques came after experiencing the lack of human touch to the mass-produced plastic objects. Expired white connects the unwanted material with lost skill and aims to show that both of these aspects can be implemented in our daily life.

303 – Sara Emilie Terp – Casc8

Casc8’s modern craftsmanship imagines a brighter future, in which we restore a balance between current consumption and nature.
In collaboration with Artisans of India, the project is transforming and elevating plastic waste collected from the urban landscape, via a process of highly skilled craftsmanship, into a unique handwoven material.
Together, united by our different strengths, we have evolved the possibilities of the discarded plastic into new heights by crafting a product, which benefits the enormous challenge of cleaning up the earth from an overload of plastic waste, while simultaneously creating a quality material embracing functional and effortless elegance.

310 – Producer: Heymat, Designer: Kristine Five Melvær – Heymat+

The Heymat+ collection is designed by Kristine Five Melvær for Heymat. The collection consists of four mats (Sand, Stein, Sjø and Strå) with three-dimensional designs all inspired by nature. Through the combination of industrial quality, sustainability and modern design, Heymat+ represents an innovation in the category. The colors and motifs are linked together, to strengthen the mats’ identity. The rough surface increases absorption capacity and keeps the surface dry – making it perfect for the entrance area. The mats are made from 100% recycled PET from post-consumer plastic bottles – bringing sustainable design back to you doorstep.

315 – Paula Nerlich – Circular Materials

Circular Materials’ invites to explore new possibilities of matter derived from food surplus.

At ‘Ro Plastic Prize’, Material Designer Paula Nerlich presents ‘Aqua Faba Foam’ and ‘COCOA’.

The materials are made with surplus from household and industrial food preparation, and are mixed with further ingredients which are vegan, compostable and non harmful to the environment. Within her research, the designer explores vegan biomaterials and initiates discourse around the value of waste as resource and the place of new products and materials in a circular economy.
In her newest virtual workshop series ‘Circular Home Lab’, she invites curious minds to rethink what waste means to us and how this new thinking can be turned into tangible matter.

The material ‘Aqua Faba Foam’ was recently awarded with the MaDe award for Best Future Vision and the Beyond Plastic Prize and has been on display at the London Design Museum.

397 – Soowon Chae – Ocragela: Red Ochre and a Wise Man

Ochre, gelatin, glycerin, and water. With these four natural substances, Soowon Chae has developed a contemporary material, called Ocragela, which is sustainable and biodegradable. Red ochre which has been generously used by early human beings to survive in nature plays an important role in this project as a coloring agent but also as a tribute to the curiosity and creativity of the prehistoric man, and the respect early human beings showed for nature. And gelatin, often regarded as a kind of ‘inferior’ residual product of the meat-processing and leather-making industry, used as the second main ingredient to create a sustainable material with completely new possibilities. And with Ocragela, Soowon is not only twisting the stereotyping and the value of standardized mass-products of today but also suggesting a new sustainable approach for the upcoming stages of human history.

445 – Giulia Pompilj – Warmi

Warmi (Women in Quechua) is an association of women from Kacllaraccay, Cusco, Peru who use botanical dyes to explore the biodiversity of the plants in the surrounding environment.
The WARMI colour palette is based on a seasonal calendar, dry and rain, the same use for the agricultural rhythm. The colours represent the Botanics found on a specific time of the year.

WARMI is a collaborative project between designer Giulia Pompilj, the Kacllaraccay Community and Mater Inciativa, which arises from a research regarding plants in the Andean ecosystem.

449 – Olga Vakhromova & Roman Vakhromov – PVB Clothes

In the process of manufacturing laminated glass, as well as polyvinyl butyral film (PVB), a lot of non-recyclable waste remains and in the form of scraps rolls of defective film it is subject to landfill. But it can be reused after processing! So we can get perfect textile for outerwear with absolute water resistance, harmlessness, hypoallergenic, air permeability and durability! Color and density may vary. What else: antibacterial insoles and masks, waterproofing layer for swimming pools, tents, bags, repair works…
The new textile is 100% recyclable!

460 – Ulysse Martel – ÆTHYRLAB

ÆTHYRLAB creates futuristic equipments.
Combining medical explorations with industrial innovations and natural solutions, our goal is to develop a new language for sports gear and allow the athletes to do what they do best: play.

Disruptive design is driving ÆTHYRLAB’s innovation process. From conceptualizing innovative equipment to shaping construction patterns.

ÆTHYRLAB use polyester fibers made from recycled PET bottles.  Recycled materials are part of our performance materials.

ÆTHYRLAB aims to create with zero waste. Technical knitting allows close-to-zero textile waste.

ÆTHYRLAB trusts local manufacturing.
Carefully selected yarns and local workshops are at the heart of ÆTHYRLAB’s process.
ÆTHYRLAB aims to merge Alchemy with Motion.

490 – Andreu Carulla – RR400: Reuse of Plastic Bags for Vacuum Cooking

Roca Recicla is a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce waste generated by El Celler de Can Roca (World’s Best Restaurant 2013, 2015; Best of the Best 2019) through design.

For this series, codenamed RR400, Andreu Carulla created a collection of three bags (tote, weekend and wash) by recycling plastic pouches used for vacuum-cooking. The restaurant uses about 50 of these a week. For both practical and hygiene reasons, they are single-use and non-recyclable through traditional means due to their mixed-plastic composition. They are hand-sewn by a local charitable organisation and sold by El Celler de Can Roca.

505 – Post Carbon Lab – Post Carbon Fashion

Post Carbon Fashion = Post-Carbon-Emission Fashion = Climate Positive Fashion.

What if, by only wearing a T-shirt, we can combat climate change just like a tree?

Post Carbon Fashion employs innovative biotechnology for textile applications — Photosynthetic Coating — to transforms textiles into carbon capture and oxygen generation surfaces.

By combining benign microbes present in the soil, water and air around us with preloved fashion or textile products, we create photosynthetic artefacts which exhibit vibrant colours and exquisite patterns in a climate positive way.

Post Carbon Fashion is a frame-changing idea which advocates an intimate relationship to clothing. It slows fashion cycles down to a standstill and shifts the awareness to what we already own. Instead of offering the market the next most sustainable thing to buy, we bio-upgrade old clothes to generate positive financial, environmental and social values without compromising style and glamour.

517 – MULHER RECICLAGEM (Woman Recycling)

We are talking about web. No more garbage in the world. That we were all the designers who, during these last years, designed the packaging and consumption that make the supermarket-store shelves full. They fill the garbage in the houses, they fill the rivers, they fill the seas, they fill the stomach of the fish, they strangle the turtles, they poison whales and dolphins and seahorses. Mulher Reciclagem (Woman Recycling) is a collective that takes place in the forest to use garbage as material for a series of dancing plots, texts, foundations and new behavioral perspectives.

534 – The Polyfloss Factory – Waste for Warmth

The Waste 4 Warmth partnership is developing and testing a new approach to shelter winterisation by making tent insulation in the field. The insulation is made from recycled plastic, using a technology called Polyfloss. Polyfloss is a mass of thin fibres of plastic that resembles candy-floss in appearance.

The Polyfloss fibres are packed, shaped and formed to products that traps air between fibres, giving insulating properties. Polyfloss machines will be deployed on-site where the insulation is needed. Plastic will be collected from the local area to ensure we’re tackling a local plastic waste problem. The project is funded by Innovation Norway’s Humanitarian Innovation Program (HIP).

536 – Liz Collins – Selvedge Fur

Selvedge loom waste is a fringe-like material that is a byproduct of the industrial weaving process. This material is generated in abundance at weaving mills worldwide, and is often treated as waste, going to landfills. This project aims to expand the upcycling effort of this unique yet ubiquitous material by presenting a group of products that are beautiful, stylish, and artisanal; and to encourage others to follow suit. With an experimental and exploratory approach, Liz Collins has developed several new textiles from this material and has used these fabrics to generate a small group of products.

537 – Ganit Goldstein – Re-Textiles 3D

Re-Textile 3D project deals with the making process of a Fully customized 3D printed garment system based on specific body measurements using 360 3D body scan. The garment produced using 3D printing technology, fabricated directly onto recycled SEAQUAL fabric using 100% re-used recycled filament.

594 – Catarina Carvalho – Darono

Darono’s signature material, is an upcycled non-woven textile collected from companies around Europe. After collection of the yarn, all steps in production are performed in Portugal, in-house or with locally sourced companies. DAR O NÓ is Portuguese for “To tie the knot”. The knotting techniques are the heart and soul of the brand, brought to life by skilled artisans. Focused on assuring that all practices within the company are optimized and consistent with a circular economy philosophy which includes a constant research on new and more sustainable materials and techniques.

616 – Paulien Nabben – AMBARA

In the past years, African countries have become unable to compete with second-hand and low quality imported clothing and textiles. Even though East African countries have been announcing plans to combat this problem, only Rwanda pushed through, accepting the reaction of the US to stop Rwanda from their ability to export duty-free. Through the proceeded plans and the ‘made in Rwanda’ campaign, local brands and manufacturers have been able to grow.

On the other hand, Rwanda does not have a proper textile production industry, and therefore still has to source their textiles from abroad.
Rwanda’s only factory currently produces with an imported raw material, cotton, a material that demands vast amounts of land, water and pesticides for its production. Since the industry does not have the capacity and mostly produces for export, the plans now negatively affect the prices of second-hand textiles and stimulate the import of low quality, unsustainable goods.

To discover the opportunities within Rwanda, we have created AMBARA, a local plant-based textile lab, aiming to perform collaborative research in exploring and understanding the local available materials. AMBARA should not only support people economically, but also use textiles to maintain Rwanda’s ecological well-being.

Instead of using harmful techniques and materials, many possibilities lie in the usage of local plant species and their potential residues. Species such as the ecosystem-improving fast growing native bamboo, the invasive lake-suffocating water hyacinth, and the monocarpic banana plant. Banana plants cover a big part of Rwanda. Their agricultural residue is now mostly being composted or burned. However, their stems contain long fibres for which we try to find ways to create a diverse range of textiles.

For our research we develop locally producible equipment, which can be easily replicated for manufacturing. By making these processes more accessible, production can later expand to existing and new cooperations in order to independently manufacture responsible textiles.