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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Material Innovation Initiative

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Material Innovation Initiative accelerates the development of next-generation sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries, with a focus on replacing animal-based materials. We work to shrink the environmental footprint of existing fibers, such as synthetics, and to seed plant-based and lab-grown innovations.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 chase.kahmann

Advisor

Rating: 5

I spoke to MII months after they first founded the company and spent a lunchtime learning about their value proposition to the apparel and footwear industry in which I work. Nicole Rawlings, one of the co-founders, made it easy to understand how MII would provide value to the advancement of sustainable materials. As a technical project manager in sustainable innovation, I was compelled to dive deeper. I learned that MII could be the extra set of hands our industry and other parallel materials-based industries (basically all industries) needed to add value in finding, developing, and, in-effect, scaling low-impact alternatives to our high-impact materials. This first meeting was the beginning of what has since been a year-long relationship and belief in MII. They're organized to help accelerate plant-based alternatives at the intersection of product, science, and business, connecting key players to work together to accomplish industry climate goals. I look forward to seeing what MII helps to do for the industries it serves. --Chase Kahmann, www.ISRDconsulting.com

1 Fernanda Mota

Advisor

Rating: 5

When I first know about MII I could not imagine how rewarding it would be to help such an innovative and well-managed initiative. The entire team, including former and new interns, shows commitment and willingness to transform the next generation of materials into the best version we can imagine. The clarity, kindness, and competence of the directors motivate everyone involved to not only develop a sustainable and cruelty-free world but also to promote generosity among people and nations. Its fast growth has also proved the recognition of people who believe in its mission, which shows a future of success and achievements for the initiative.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer my time with Material Innovation Initiative because of the people and the mission.

Nicole, Stephanie, and the folks here are truly passionate about revolutionizing the materials industry (fashion, home goods, automotive) by replacing animal-based materials. Hand in glove with that is MII's aim to shrink the environmental footprint of synthetic fibers. The upshot is a more humane, sustainable, and thriving industry that produces better, more innovative products for consumers. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to be a part of that?!

My personal interest in volunteering with MII is first and foremost in support of animal welfare. But it’s also been hugely rewarding see the sheer creativity and innovation of the companies that MII is tapping into. It gives me great hope for the future, especially one rocked by Covid-19 and a year of tragic natural disasters.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

MII is full of hard-working, intelligent, kind and passionate people. They all strive for ending sustainability issues and animal welfare concerns using recent technological breakthroughs. Nicole is one of the kindest and most educated people on this topic and truly is passionate about this cause

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MII is a forward-looking and ambitious innovator impacting several major industries. Nicole is a wonderful fit as leader of the MII team bringing both patience yet aggressive passion to new thinking and to the education of diverse involved parties. This includes researchers, customers, invested partners, and existing industrial companies. MII intends to revolutionize multiple industries in a direction that will make a sustainable impact on the future of our environment. Nicole is also positioning MII by gathering young and innovative talent to participate in building a more sustainable future .
JoAnn J.

2 Riddhi P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern for MII, I learned so much about the fashion industry, from knowing nothing. I made connections through the leadership in MII that will help me in every aspect of my life. The people at MII not only care about the future of the world, but about the people who care to change it too. I was given the opportunity to be seen as an equal, to some well respected people in the industry already. I had to prove my ability, but the opportunities were endless. I believe that MII is bringing to light a much needed direction that the fashion, home and automotive industries need to move towards. Through MII, I found different career paths that will help me utilize my passion for a sustainable world through materials. Thank you MII for the opportunity during the crazy times that were Summer 2020, and for everything else since then.

2 Christie L.2

Advisor

Rating: 5

This non profit is filling the need of a nascent innovation effort, and they will lead the way to animal-free materials for many industries.

1 vegangrrl1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are so many impactful organizations where I could choose to give my time, but I haven't been involved with any that are as rewarding and effective as MII. Not only is the mission of creating a world that is kinder to animals near and dear to my heart, but MII is driving forward a really important aspect of this mission that has been lacking for far too long. Sustainability issues, animal welfare concerns, and growing consumer demand for alternatives to animal-based materials are bringing about a revolution, and MII is crucial to that revolution's success. My experience with this team puts my mind at ease, knowing the revolution is in the right hands. The tone of the organization is absolutely set from the top down with leadership that is kind, respectful, brilliant (and wildly generous with that brilliance), and open to feedback that fosters an unparalleled environment of collaboration. It's an honor to contribute to and support MII in moving towards a world that is beautiful for all of its inhabitants.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Nicole & team are fervently driving toward net-positive impact through all of the work they're doing at MII. The ecosystem of brands, innovators, investors, technical experts, and industry know-how they're building is invaluable to the industry's progress at large. They're deep thinkers & reliable executors who are finding synergies between brand needs, technological developments, and planetary boundaries. They're great to work with (incredibly responsive, agile, and informative) and are absolutely a trusted source of information. On a personal note, they're kind, fair, and an all-around stellar cast of human beings who are trying to demystify the complexities of the next-generation materials market so we can all experience a fruitful world for generations to come.

1 Nicole R.10

Board Member

Rating: 5

I currently work at the Material Innovation Initiative and I love it! I am really impressed with the whole team. They are hardworking, passionate, very smart, critical thinkers, and dedicated to the mission. People seem very comfortable offering their opinions and challenging current thought or the organization's direction which leads to very interesting and exciting debates, further refining our work and effectiveness. I have been very impressed with everyone's contributions to the strategic plan, objectives and key results, and work product. Our mission is critical and this team is perfect to accomplish our goals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely loved working for MII this summer — everyone is super hardworking, supportive, and extremely passionate about MII's mission. Nicole and Anne created the space and gave me the knowledge I needed to grow, both in terms of my project as well as in terms of professional/networking skills. They also really go out of their way to support the intern team and are always happy to answer questions, offer thoughtful advice, or just chat to get to know you better. They made it really easy to learn through their detailed schedules and thoughtful projects, and are quick repliers!

I have never worked with more organized employers who put so much thought and care into their work, they really set the bar high. Excited to see what they accomplish in the future!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to be part of the MII's summer remotely ran intern programme amongst many other passionate students from across the globe. A programme which was well-organised and highly adapted to the current pandemic at a time where many student opportunities are few and far between. The MII provided weekly 121 and group support sessions both for our specific research projects and wider career skills including networking opportunties and reporting/ written support. MII also gave us the freedom to research a topic which interested us most and if we wished, complimented our education studies/ projects whilst ensuring the the research carried was beneficial for the MII going forward. I wish the MII all the best in the future and hope our paths will cross again. Thank you for the opportunity.