€1 million grant to pioneering ideas closing the loop for fashion

GCA launch 2016

On August 25, the H&M Foundation launched the first ever Global Change Award − one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry. By catalysing green, truly ground-breaking ideas the aim of the challenge is to protect the earth’s natural resources by closing the loop for fashion.

GCA launch 2016

Five winners, chosen by an expert jury, share a grant of €1 million and get access to a tailor-made innovation accelerator. The global public are invited to distribute half of the total grant through an online vote.

“The question for fashion is no longer ‘What is the new black?’ but rather ‘What innovative ideas can close the loop?’ The Global Change Award is looking for ideas that will protect the earth’s natural resources, and I am excited to be part of it,” says Rebecca Earley, Professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London, Director of its Textile Futures Research Centre and member of the Global Change Award Jury.

“The question for fashion is no longer ‘What is the new black?’ but rather ‘What innovative ideas can close the loop?”

Rebecca Earley, Professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London, Director of its Textile Futures Research Centre and member of the Global Change Award Jury

The Global Change Award takes on one of the biggest challenges facing today’s fashion industry – to create fashion for a growing population while reducing its impact on the environment. Neither the foundation nor the company H&M will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.

“Each year the Global Change Award aims to find the truly brave and bold ideas that make change. I’m also eager to see how the fashion industry as a whole will embrace the challenge of closing the loop,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M.

“Ground-breaking, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, so the challenge is open to anyone.”

Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M

The innovation accelerator − a collaboration with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm − gives the five winners the support and knowledge they need to actualize their ideas. The innovation accelerator also provides exclusive fashion industry access and offer possibilities to build networks and try out the ideas within the fashion value chain.

Information about the Global Change Award, is available at globalchangeaward.com.

Read the full press release.

Related News

GCA launch 2016

€1,000,000 to be allocated between Global Change Award winners in public online vote

The five winners of the first ever Global Change Award have been selected by the expert jury. The ideas range from creating new textile out of citrus juice by-products and an online marketplace for recycling of textile leftovers to using microbes to recycle waste polyester. Now, the global public is asked to allocate the €1 million grant between the winners in an online vote starting today at globalchangeaward.com.
Winners of Global Change Award 2016

Presenting the winners of the Global Change Award 2016

On 10 February, HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden awarded the winners of the first Global Change Award, an annual innovation challenge for circular fashion initiated by the non-profit H&M Foundation. Most votes, and a grant of €300,000, were awarded to the Finnish team behind Making waste-cotton new; conversion of waste-cotton into new textile. To further accelerate the transformation towards a circular fashion industry, the Foundation now launches the Global Change Award Network, an open-source database for innovations.
Launch image for GCA 2017

€1 million grant to five innovations that can reinvent the fashion industry

Clothing made of citrus by-products, microbes that digest waste polyester, and an online marketplace for textile leftovers are some of the five disruptive ideas that shared the first €1 million Global Change Award grant in 2015. The challenge is designed to spur early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, with the aim of protecting the planet and our living conditions. On September 1st, the non-profit H&M Foundation opens the second Global Change Award.