Prize Media Kit

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March 9, 2023 (LOS ANGELES, CA) – Winners of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, the global competition powered by nonprofit Lonely Whale to source and scale marine-safe and biologically degradable alternatives to traditional thin-film plastic made from fossil fuels, were announced today at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards (GCFA) by Prize founder, Tom Ford, during his acceptance speech for The GCFA Visionary Honor. The $1.2 million Prize Purse is a combination cash prize and direct investment presented by Title Sponsors TOM FORD BEAUTY and The Estée Lauder Companies, and Trousdale Ventures, the exclusive venture capital partner of the Prize. The Prize Purse aims to support Winners to scale their solutions to replace traditional thin-film plastics, which make up 46% of all plastic waste leaking into the ocean each year.



“I started this Prize three years ago with a harrowing fear that the world our children would inherit would no longer be a livable one. I wanted to be a part of the solution, not be an arbiter of the problem. If we did nothing about the waste and pollution flooding our oceans the disruption to our planet would be irreconcilable. Watching the brilliant minds within this competition has given me extraordinary hope in making the impossible possible. Our three winners have created truly viable alternatives – alternatives that when scaled across markets and industries will drastically change the course of the health of our planet. Today, as we announce the winners of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, I am honored, hopeful and thankful. Honored to have such great minds and partners join me to pioneer change. Hopeful for a better tomorrow, and thankful for all that has already been achieved.”
– Tom Ford, CEO and Founder, TOM FORD

“TOM FORD BEAUTY is thrilled to support this partnership in sustainable plastics innovation. We are honored to continue Mr. Ford’s legacy and further our commitment to investing in innovation that contributes to a more sustainable future.”
– Guillaume Jesel, President, Global Brands, TOM FORD BEAUTY and Luxury Business Development

“Social investment and environmental responsibility are core pillars of The Estée Lauder Companies. The significance of these tenets continues to positively impact the employees and communities we work with and has helped drive our company’s success.”
– Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies

“As an innovation-focused investment firm in search of companies designing a brighter future, we are thrilled to join Lonely Whale as their exclusive venture capital partner to invest in the three winners of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize. Accelerating access to capital for innovators like Sway, Zerocircle, and Notpla is critical to scale marine-safe alternatives to single-use plastics made from fossil fuels. Our investment in the Prize recipients aims to further that cause.”
– Phillip Sarofim, founder of Trousdale Ventures

“It was an honor to highlight the alternative materials created by the Prize winners to reduce the environmental impact of traditional thin-film plastic at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. It has been inspiring to work with Mr. Ford, Lonely Whale and my fellow judges to identify a solution for traditional thin-film plastic that has the potential for wide-scale adoption. I look forward to seeing the fashion industry rise up to this challenge and embrace these biologically based and degradable alternative materials.
– Livia Firth, activist, producer and founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age and the Green Carpet Fashion Awards

“The winners of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize continue to inspire me with their commitment to innovate to scale marine-safe alternatives, helping to mitigate the 11 million metric tons of new plastic made from fossil fuels that enters the ocean each year. The investment and ongoing partnership from TOM FORD BEAUTY, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Trousdale Ventures emphasizes the unique value of collaboration to achieve systems change.”
– Lucy Sumner, Co-founder of Lonely Whale

“The world must move away from fossil-fuel based plastics to protect and rewild the ocean and other ecosystems,” said Wes Sechrest, CEO of Re:wild, Lonely Whale’s fiscal sponsor. “Innovative alternatives to single-use thin film plastic, like those developed by the winners of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, are powerful tools in helping to address the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and human wellbeing.”
– Wes Sechrest, CEO of Re:wild

“When it comes to protecting the future of sport and the future of our planet, Nike is about innovating, creating and scaling solutions. By joining the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize as the sponsor of the Finalist material testing and part of the early adopter coalition, we committed to accelerating the creation and adoption of material solutions that solve the issue of traditional thin-film plastic waste. We are proud to celebrate the announcement of the three winners who underwent the vigorous material testing track led by Lonely Whale’s research partners at the New Materials Institute and Seattle Aquarium and look forward to continued collaboration with this group of incredible innovators, brands and advocates that share in our ambition to raise the bar for sustainability.”
– Liz Rodgers, VP of Sustainable Product for Nike

“Partnering with Lonely Whale to conduct rigorous lab and field testing for the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize was an important opportunity to showcase and advance the material testing standards necessary to ensure alternatives to traditional plastics are not just marketing wins, but are truly marine-safe and biologically degradable. The New Materials Institute was proud to play a role in blindly assessing each of the Finalists’ alternative materials and I am excited to follow the winning teams’ success.”
– Jason Locklin, Ph.D. and Director, New Materials Institute at the University of Georgia


Charlotte Blechman, TOM FORD, cblechman@tomfordinternational.com
Sara Owens, Dittoe PR, sara@dittoepr.com
Brie Cross, KCD, cross@kcdworldwide.com

Questions? Email us at info@plasticprize.org