Global Change Award

Global Change Award

29 March, 2017
Giving The Public Power
The H&M Foundation

To speed up the shift to a circular waste-free fashion industry, The H&M Foundation initiated the yearly innovation challenge Global Change Award in 2015, calling for game-changing ideas that can help reinvent the entire industry.

The second round of winners are chosen, and now the public decides how to split the grant of EUR 1 million between the five winners - a unique opportunity to influence one of the world's most powerful industries and contribute to a sustainable future.

The winners of 2016 represent a broad range of exciting ideas – a digital content thread that facilitates recycling of clothes, carbon-binding nylon made from biomass with solar energy, vegetal leather made from wine production waste, used denim that gives colour to new denim and an idea that turns cow manure into biodegradable textiles.

The online vote for 2017 is open from now until the 2nd April. To vote and for more information, click here.

"In this second round of Global Change Award we received 2,883 innovative ideas from 130 countries, which is even more than last year. Cross-border challenges call for a cross-border approach. I am convinced that by bringing people from different industries, with different backgrounds and perspectives together we can make a fundamental shift in the fashion industry to protect both the people and the planet," says Karl-Johan Persson, Board member of H&M Foundation and CEO H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

The five most promising innovations were chosen by an international expert panel, with among others Vikram Widge, Head of Climate and Carbon Finance at the World Bank Group, Rebecca Earley, Professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London, Amber Valletta, Supermodel, actress, entrepreneur, sustainability influencer and Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO at The New York Academy of Sciences.

The winners of Global Change Award 2016

Manure couture - Making cow manure-based fabric.
Extracting and using the valuable cellulose in cow manure to create a biodegradable textile. The significant reduced release of methane gas and substances that pollutes soil, water and air, is an added bonus.

Denim-dyed denim - Letting used denim give colour to new denim.
Breaking down old denim into fine particles and turning it into a colouring powder to dye new denim or make prints on other textiles. This method reduces both water and energy used for production, as well as reuses old denim instead of it going to waste.

Solar textiles - Harvesting the sun's energy to make fashion fabrics.
Using only water, plant waste and solar energy to produce decomposable nylon, instead of oil, is good news for the planet. And if this isn't enough, the nylon also binds greenhouse gases into the material, contributing to a zero-emissions world.

Content thread - A digital thread that lets us know what we're wearing.
Weaving a tiny RFID thread with a digitalized "ingredients list" into the garment, the recycling process will become much more efficient and less will go to waste, as it's suddenly clear what materials the garment consists of.

Grape leather - Using leftovers from winemaking to create fully vegetal leather.
Using leftovers from wine production to produce fine vegetal leather is good news for animal welfare and eliminates the need for oil to make synthetic leather. The fact that the grape skins and stalks are used for something good, instead of combustion, is an extra plus.

Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by the non-profit H&M Foundation in 2015. In September 2016, the second round was launched. By catalyzing early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, the aim is to protect the planet and our living conditions. Global Change Award is one of the world's biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry.

By: Ecozine Staff


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