Winners Chosen for $525,000 Conservation X Labs Prize to End Microplastic Pollution

Five trailblazing innovations have won a total of $525,000 as a part of Conservation X Labs’ Microfiber Innovation Challenge for their ability to reduce or prevent microfiber pollution.

The challenge was funded by the Flotilla Foundation and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

The winners stood out among submissions spanning 19 countries for their solutions to transform clothing and textiles. The solutions aim to prevent or reduce the shedding of microscopic fibers that pollute the air and waterways when fibers break off clothing during everyday wear, the laundry and disposal.

The winners are: Mango Materials, Natural Fiber Welding, PANGAIA x MTIX Microfiber Mitigation, Tandem Repeat Technologies and Werewool.

The winners are eligible for additional funding from Conservation X Labs of $25,000 each as they work toward commercialization goals in 2022. They will also be invited to showcase their innovations at a Solutions Fair at the global sportswear brand Under Armour’s headquarters in Baltimore later this year. 

Scientists are only just beginning to fully understand the massive scale of the impact of microfiber pollution. Around 2 million tons of microfibers are released into the ocean every year. Microfibers have been detected at the top of Mount Everest, as well as in wildlife in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.

Microfiber and microplastic pollution in the ocean may disrupt the fertility of marine wildlife and affect human health. While health impacts are not yet fully understood, scientific studies have shown an association between microfiber inhalation and lung damage in humans.

To learn more about the winning solutions, visit

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