In a time where fashion is looking for ways to be more sustainable and conscious and the industry grapples with the effects of the coronavirus, H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award recently named five innovations that could help transform the fashion industry. The innovations that won the combined €1 million range from lab-grown cotton and creating fabrics from protein DNA, to tracking sustainable fibres by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester. The five winning innovations of the 2020 Global Change Award hail from India, United States, Brazil and France.
“This year’s winners represent a new wave of entrepreneurs that are looking at the industry with a fresh and creative lens.”
In these uncertain times, when large parts of the world have been affected by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, H&M Foundation thinks it’s even more important to find and encourage ideas that can contribute to a more sustainable future for us and generations to come. The H&M Foundation Global Change Award, oft referred to as the Nobel Prize of sustainable fashion, is the non-profit’s effort to continue to support long-term development, innovation and entrepreneurship for a sustainable future. The goal is to identify early stage, disruptive ideas that can make fashion more sustainable, and to scale them to transform the entire fashion industry.
“H&M Foundation continues to support entrepreneurs and innovators for long-term sustainability. Every year I am amazed by the ideas submitted to the Global Change Award. The innovations are in themselves challenging the way we think about fashion. We are moving away from the old, linear ways of thinking, and move faster towards a planet positive and sustainable model. The winning innovations will help our industry reinvent itself and hopefully also inspire even more great minds out there,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation.
The Global Change Award Expert Panel which includes the likes of Wanjira Mathai, Abrima Erwiah, Rosario Dawson, William McDonough, Rosario Dawson selected five winning innovations out of 5,893 entries from 175 countries.
The Global Change 2020 Award winners:
€300,000 – Incredible Cotton by GALY (US/Brazil). Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.
“Winning the Global Change Award validates the recognition and belief in our vision as a company and open new doors for partnerships, technology and call to action for the entire industry. We are going to work hard to make our vision come true and we believe this award is one of the most important steps for this accomplishment“, says Luciano Bueno, Founder and CEO of GALY.
€250,000 – Feature Fibres by Werewool (US). Creating fabrics from protein DNA with natural colours, stretch and other features.
€150,000 – Tracing Threads by TextileGenesis (India). Tracking sustainable fibres through transparent and reliable blockchain technology.
€150,000 – Zero Sludge by SeaChange Technologies (US). Separating and cleaning wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills.
€150,000 – Airwear by Fairbrics (France). Converting greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester.
We are fully committed in supporting our Global Change Award winners of 2020 through our financial grant and Innovation Accelerator Program, so that they can keep working and accelerate the development of their innovations and move the needle forward in sustainable fashion.
In addition to the €1 million grant, H&M Foundation enrolls the winners in a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The program, run in cooperation with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, is designed to connect the winners with the fashion industry and speed up the process of bringing their innovations to the market.
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pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Editorial Director, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.