H&M launches third Global Change Award

h&mH&M’s non-profit foundation has launched the third annual Global Change Award, in a move to ‘accelerate the shift’ from a linear to a circular fashion industry.

The fashion retailer said the €1 million grant and coaching program aims to reinvent the entire fashion industry. The five winners share a €1 million grant, along with a one-year innovation accelerator program providing tailor-made support and invaluable access to the fashion industry. Last year, more than 2,800 applications from 130 countries were submitted.

Some of last year’s winning innovations were leather made of wine making leftovers, digital threads weaved into garments to ease the recycling processes and climate positive nylon made from water, plant waste and solar energy. Neither the non-profit H&M Foundation nor the H&M group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations, as the aim is to influence the fashion industry as a whole.

“Now in its third year, the Global Change Award has really become a positive force in the fashion industry,” said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of the fashion retailer.

“It has proven to be a true catalyst for the winners, giving them support and access to a valuable network so they can bring their innovations to the market quicker and better prepared. I’m really curious to see what disruptive innovations we will receive this time.”

The program will take the winning teams to Stockholm, New York and Shanghai, and is provided by the H&M Foundation in partnership with strategy firm, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm,

“Sustainable and responsible consumption is the way forward,” said professor Edwin Keh, CEO, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel,

“We must find better ways to make what we use, and wisely use what we have. The Global Change Award is an important initiative to drive this forward. By intentionally and thoughtfully reusing, recycling, and repurposing, we can drive significant and radical improvements to our world.”

H&M Foundation is privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Since 2013, the family has donated 1.3 billion Swedish Krona ($177 million/€144 million) to the Foundation, aiming to improve living conditions for people on a global scale.

H&M recently announced it has made a technological breakthrough in finding a method to recycle blended textiles into new fabrics and yarns.

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