What's next in materials innovation

Eva Lagarde

The event has been running in London for 3 years. In the third edition, there is an amazing array of speakers. I'm gutted to miss this event as I won't be in London, as I wish I could meet them in real life, but you should go and meet them for yourselves.

The event is a bit techy, but not only. It is about packaging and materials most importantly. The vision is to bring innovations in all spheres of materials so we can make progress in the way we make our world.

Rethinking Materials is an international innovation and investment summit that showcases and connects companies reimaging how materials in consumer products are produced, consumed, and repurposed.

This year’s themes look at the role of materials in mitigating carbon emissions and enabling a circular economy – especially viable alternatives that are reducing our reliance on ‘incumbents’ such as petrochemical, virgin forest and animal-based materials.

Some of the theme covered this year that caught my attention include:

  • Net Zero Strategies: How can materials innovation aid the race to decarbonisation?
  • Supply Chain Transformation: Rethinking the building blocks for sustainable materials
  • Achieving Circularity: Recycling, reuse, replacement – what will make the greatest impact?
  • Designing for Sustainability: End-to-end product innovation to achieve ESG objectives
  • Agile Innovation: Discovering new applications and markets for today’s solutions

More details, here.

Amongst the speakers, a great panel of inspiring characters that I wish I could share a coffee with, for a chat, and a chance to meet in real life.

About carbon capture

Madison Savilow - Founder and CEO of Oco, a canadian company that provides materials made from captured carbon emissions to consumer brands. She is working closely with Element packaging, with Nick Gardner & Ulrich Lerissel, in the US to bring the carbon capture technology to the beauty market. A little mouse told me that some products shall be released on the market this year. I will let you more once I have some pics.

About refill models

Jo-Anne Chidley, co-founder of Beauty Kitchen in the UK. She is working hard behind the scene to develop a re-use model with big retailers like Boots and global brands like Unilever to bring an effective refill model to the market for personal care.

About biobased materials

Marco Jansen - for Braskem in Europe & Asia. I would be interested to know, where the global supplier of biobased PE, also called green PE is in terms of supply and lead time. Last time I heard they were booked up for 2 years, and they were developing a plant in Asia. Would also be interested to learn more about the new technology in green polymers and if we will see a green PP or PET one day?

About seaweed packaging

Pierre Paslier - Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NOTPLA. After winning an Earthshot Prize last year that brought some funds and some well deserved PR, I wonder what the next steps for Notpla are and if they have a working solution for the beauty and personal care industry.

About alternatives to plastics

Last but certainly not least, Sian Sutherland, who is fighting for the development of alternative materials and has recently launch the Plastic Free platform, the first materials and systems solutions platform targeted at creatives to design waste out at the source. The platform offers a global overview and deep dive into latest market applications into packaging and material innovations.

More details, here.

Kelp fronds exposed at low tide on a rocky shoreline of Southwest Scotland. 
This is Oarweed - Laminaria digitata, the most abundant kelp found on our shores
Photo by Ben Wicks / Unsplash

Start-ups showcase

The event will also highlight 14 start-ups. I’d like to see the following ones:

  • Kelpi is pioneering innovative bio-materials from renewable sources like seaweed, which break down naturally on land and sea.
  • Oco specialises in carbon upcycling technology, offering low carbon material solutions to consumer products brands, helping them towards reaching their climate goals.
  • Greyparrot is the leading AI waste analytics platform for the circular economy, on a mission to digitise the $1.6 trillion waste management industry.
  • Polygreen is a sustainable alternative to commonly used super absorbent materials in packaging and hygiene products.
  • Reath provides software to help businesses launch and scale reusable packaging systems that engage customers.

More details, here.

I can’t make it but it shouldn’t stop you. If you have a chance to be in London then, feel free to join the event and send me your highlights. I would be happy to publish your piece here, with your name on it!