HRH the Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive’s Terra Carta Design Lab announced the initiative’s winners on 27 April 2022. Picked from 125 submissions, the four winners include a wearable device for cows to reduce methane emissions, a clean-tech start-up spearheading the capture and monitoring of tyre wear, the first 100 per cent recyclable and chemical-free outdoor performance textile, and aerodynamic seed pods made from food waste for plant and tree restoration. 

Prince Charles and Ive launched the Terra Carta Design Lab in partnership with the Royal College of Art in July 2021, with the mission of highlighting ‘the urgent need to focus on the creative collaboration between art, science, design, and engineering to produce credible and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis’.

Terra Carta Design Lab winners 

Woman wearing white hooded amphitex jacket, Terra Carta Design Lab winner
Jacket by Amphitex

‘All the Terra Carta Design Lab winners have ideas and designs that deserve to be developed,’ said Ive. ‘The ingenuity and determination of these designers have produced some extraordinarily creative responses, and they now embark on the journey to turn these great ideas into practical solutions.’

Zelp, a wearable to reduce cows’ methane emissions, addresses one of the leading causes of global warming. The harness-shaped devices are developed to fit comfortably on the animals, ensuring that there is no change to feeding, rumination, or interaction within the herd. As the cattle exhale, methane is oxidised by passing through a catalyst, so that it’s released into the air as CO2 and water vapour. The device connects to an app to monitor methane reduction and provide key data for farmers, including welfare, efficiency, and fertility metrics.

Tyre wear device, Terra Carta Design Lab winner
The Tyre Collective

Considering that tyre wear is the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our environment, The Tyre Collective developed the first device that captures tyre wear at the wheel, with the aim of accelerating a shift to zero-emission mobility. Additionally, the team are exploring upcycling it into various applications, creating a circular system.

Amphitex’s research into outdoor textiles revealed that traditional waterproof breathable textiles are impossible to recycle, and their manufacturing often employs harmful chemicals. The team created the first 100 per cent recyclable, chemical-free and carbon-negative outdoor performance textile, made from a combination of recycled and plant-based feedstock.

Aerseeds, Terra Carta Design Lab winners

Finally, Aerseeds are aerodynamic seed pods, made from food waste: mimicking natural processes, they are carried by the wind to cover large areas and reach difficult terrains to deliver nutrients and seeds to soils depleted by human activity, accelerating ecological restoration and reforestation.

Each winning team will receive £50k funding and access to mentoring from Sir Jony Ive, chancellor of the RCA, and the corporate members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative network.

Says Ive: ‘We can all have good ideas. I find it reassuring, particularly facing the overwhelming challenge of climate change, that we can all contribute ideas that could evolve into valuable solutions. I love not only the power of a good idea but how egalitarian and inclusive they can be.’ §