Global Change Award

To speed up the shift to a circular and sustainable fashion industry, the H&M Foundation launched the innovation challenge Global Change Award in 2015 – looking for game changing ideas that can reinvent it all.

If the fashion industry could be circular instead of linear, it could efficiently eliminate waste and re-circulate raw materials and valuable resources to produce new goods. But to make the fashion industry circular and help protect our planet, the industry needs game changing ideas.

This is why we launched the Global Change Award, one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry.

The innovation challenge

Each year, we call innovators and scientists across the world to apply with their idea that could potentially re-invent the fashion industry. There are three categories to apply within:

  • Circular business models
  • Circular materials
  • Circular processes


The categories present new circular approaches that are needed to make the fashion industry more sustainable. This means changing the way garments are designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled today, by adding disruptive technology or new business models. The five best innovations are picked of all the entries received regardless of category.

An expert panel annually selects five winners that share a grant of 1 million euro and get access to a one-year innovation accelerator.

The global public is invited to distribute the 1 million euro grant between the five innovations through an online vote. The result of the vote as well as the teams behind the innovations, are revealed at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm.

In the first edition of the Global Change Award, the five awarded innovative ideas were converting waste-cotton into new textile, using microbes to recycle polyester textiles, creating new textiles from citrus by-products, setting up a marketplace for up-cycling production spill and using algae to make renewable textiles.

The award

Five winners share a 1 million euro grant, the distribution is decided by the public through an online vote.

In addition to the grant, the winners get access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The accelerator includes one year of specialised support in moving these ideas to the next level.

Accelerator to boost the innovations

  • A one week boot camp, creating insights on innovation readiness, goal setting, pitch training, IPR protection and innovation development, provided by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden).
  • Exclusive industry insight, networking opportunities and knowledge about circularity in the fashion value chain, provided by H&M Foundation and H&M (Shanghai, China).
  • Leading expertise on circular economy, access to an innovation centre and insights into future digital customer experiences, provided by Accenture (Milan, Italy).


Throughout the year, the winners get continuous support and individual team coaching through the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH.

Learn more at globalchangeaward.com.


The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Its mission is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas.

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