Our Innovation Accelerator Program for the Global Change Award winners is designed to accelerate the development of their innovations to reach the market quicker and therefore driving change in the fashion industry. This year, our Accelerator delivered knowhow from an impressive list of guest speakers, but it also played an important role in giving a sense of belonging and moral support to our winners because of the pandemic.
H&M Foundation and Social Alpha have joined hands to launch “Techtonic – Innovations in Waste Management”, a nationwide grand challenge in India to identify and curate locally designed, disruptive innovations addressing problems in waste management and improving the livelihoods of waste pickers.
Cotton is certified, recycling is on the rise, value chain processes are improved – but it’s not enough. We need to look at the whole system and see how it can be changed from the ground up. With an ambition to find a truly sustainable solution for the fashion industry, non-profit H&M Foundation and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) extend their collaboration for five more years in a new initiative called the Planet First program. Ground-breaking technologies are already being tested.
H&M Foundation gives a total donation of USD 200,000 to the Red Cross, to meet the immediate and urgent needs of people affected by the series of tropical cyclones that have devastated areas in Vietnam and the Philippines lately.
Together with eight organisations H&M Foundation has launched a unique initiative to address the quality of life of waste pickers and their families in Bangalore, India. By taking a holistic approach the vision is to addresses the broken systems that keep waste pickers in poverty, while tackling challenges in the waste management sector. The goal is to enable waste pickers to have greater agency to lead secure and dignified lives.
For the first time textile blends can be recycled at scale. Together with our ambitious research partner HKRITA, the forward-thinking textile manufacturer Kahatex, and a research team made up of retired, but exceptionally passionate and committed scientists – the fashion industry has taken a huge leap forward in the quest on creating a more sustainable fashion future.
H&M Foundation has been working with WaterAid to support access to clean water and sanitation, since 2014. During the second phase of our Global Program, 190,000 people in some of the world’s poorest communities were reached. Now, WaterAid has launched a learning report based on lessons emerging from the program.
Our 2020 winners have all made great progress with their innovations over the last six months, despite the world being upside down. We have been working closely together with them through a redesigned version of our one-year Innovation Accelerator Program, providing weekly digital sessions by us, our partners Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology as well as guest speakers and GCA alumnis, instead of three main bootcamp weeks around the world.
Though the majority of garment workers in Bangladesh are women, less than one percent has a leadership role. Furthermore, women are less represented than men in the more sophisticated machine operation roles. Ingrained stereotypes and attitudes are part of the problem, where Bangladeshi women are not perceived – by others and themselves – as capable of taking on more advanced roles. In our programme with the BBC Media Action, we are investigating if, and how, we can change perceptions to make sure women will still have a job in the future as the garment industry transitions to automation and digitalisation.
As a non-profit foundation, our job is to influence the entire fashion industry to rethink how fashion is made, worn and reused. Why? Because there is no planet B. But the industry can’t solve the problem alone, they also need to have their customers onboard.