Many great ideas that could help create a sustainable fashion future never get to see the light of the day. Access to support, capital and know-how is scarce, and as a non-profit global foundation we can make a big difference by supporting early stage ideas in their development.
Tailor made support
The H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology work closely with the winners of Global Change Award during one year to give support and tailored coaching, pinpoint opportunities and connections to key players within the industry. Once the year is up, the winners are part of our Alumni network, which has shown to bring a lot of value for all – both winners and us.
The network of Global Change Award alumni winners, or “the GCA family” as they call themselves, has grown strong over the years with winners supporting each other, finding ways to collaborate and sharing challenges, insights and learnings about the industry.
Market entry crucial
However, to move from mind to market, these game changers need to be commercialized. And all winners are free to partner with any player in the fashion industry. Nor H&M Foundation or H&M Group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the winning innovations. The aim is to boost the entire fashion industry to become circular.
To achieve a sustainable fashion future the fashion industry needs bold players who are willing to take a chance and back the innovators and their possible solutions.
Dreams coming true
There are multiple examples of ideas that made it all the way to the market among our previous winners.
- Fully vegetal leather made from grape skins and stalks. VEGEA, winner in 2017 secured collaborations with multiple brands like H&M, & Other Stories, Le Coq Sportif and Serapian
- Textiles made from citrus juice byproducts. Orange Fiber, winner in 2016 was commercialized through collections with H&M Conscious Exclusive and Ferragamo.
- Customised denim jeans based on 3D body scans. Unspun, Early Bird winner in 2017 have opened up their own stores in San Fransisco as well as Hong Kong.
- Transforming waste into valuable textiles. Our GCA 2018 winners Circular Systems have been making great breakthroughs with their waste-to-fiber technologies, working with brands like Nike, Converse, ARKET, COS, H&M Kids and more.
Italian team of Vegea are using leftovers from winemaking to create fully vegetal leather. This year, they are part of the Conscious Exclusive collection together with H&M.