Global Change Award

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. For 2018 you can apply within these three categories:

  • Digitalization
  • Waste
  • Climate positive

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. An Expert Panel with extensive knowledge within fashion, environment, circularity and innovation select five winners and it’s then up to the public to distribute the €1million grant 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.

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.

Besides sharing the grant, the winners are provided with a one-year Global Change Award Accelerator Program that will speed up the development of their innovations and maximize the impact on the industry. The program will take the teams to Stockholm, New York and Shanghai, and is provided by the H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture, one of the world’s foremost strategy and consulting companies, and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities.

The Accelerator Program includes:

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

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

Neither the H&M Foundation nor the company H&M will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.

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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