Tom Ford Launches Plastic Innovation Prize

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Tom Ford Launches Plastic Innovation Prize


Tom Ford has put up $1 million to fund alternatives of super thin plastic.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Wed 9 Dec 2020

Did you know that every year, approximately 125 billion plastic sandwich and storage bags are thrown out, ~4.5 billion of which end up in the ocean.

Tom Ford has partnered with Lonely Whale's 52HZ, (which was founded by Adrian Grenier and Lucy Sumner) to create the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize.

The luxury designer's new innovation prize fund of $1 million will focus on replacement for thin-film plastic - the kind that is used for wrapping, plastic sandwich and storage bags.

tom ford black watch made of ocean plastic
“In my opinion, ethical luxury is THE greatest luxury of all”

“In my opinion, ethical luxury is THE greatest luxury of all,” Ford says.

“The Tom Ford customer is sophisticated with a heightened awareness of the issues facing our planet and the responsibility we have to protect it. Sustainability is a key issue in our lives right now. In particular, the amount of ocean plastic that we are generating is perhaps taking the greatest toll on our environment of all."

The prize comes hot on the heels of the Tom Ford Ocean Plastic Timepiece, which is made with 100% recovered ocean plastic.

Every year an estimated 11 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean. Every Tom Ford Ocean Plastic Timepiece purchased permanently removes the equivalent of 35 bottles of plastic waste from the ocean, with all packaging being recyclable.

"For every 1000 Ocean Plastic Timepieces we produce and sell, we permanently remove and prevent 490 pounds of plastic waste from entering the ocean," says Tom Ford. "It is incredibly appealing to know that you are not only wearing a high-quality product, but by simply owning the product you are also taking direct action to improve the planet.”

Plastic bottle on the sand

11 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year

“Building on five years of success at Lonely Whale pioneering disruptive change in the conversation about plastics and the ocean, we’re thrilled to launch 52HZ, an advisory service designed to share what we’ve learned with individuals and brands seeking to do the same,” said Dr. Dune Ives, CEO of Lonely Whale.

“Collaboration accelerates innovation, and we are so proud to partner with Tom Ford in 52HZ’s inaugural venture: the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize. He is an icon certainly, but now also a leader in the fight for the future of our planet.

His Ocean Plastic timepiece and the launch of the Prize is a technological feat and proof positive that the fashion industry can be an ally, with plenty to contribute to the environmental movement.”

The winners of the Tom Ford Innovation Prize will be vetted and stress-tested to ensure they not only have positive impact on the environment, but that they are also scalable and market-ready by 2025.

Check out how to enter at Submissions will be accepted until the end of January 2021.