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Global Change Award

Global Change Award is one of the world’s leading challenges for early stage innovation, and the largest initiative of its kind in the fashion industry. In 2015, the H&M Foundation identified a need to accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry and initiated the challenge to help speed up the transition. It takes on one of today’s biggest challenges in the fashion industry – creating fashion for a growing population, while improving its impact on the environment.

The Global Change Award has been called the Nobel Prize of fashion, it’s one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovations and the first such initiative in the fashion industry. Each year we call for ideas that could potentially reinvent the whole fashion industry. So far over 20,000 entries from more than 200 countries and territories have been received. Ultimately, our aim is to speed up the progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, protecting the planet and our living conditions.

The spotlight is on the game changers of tomorrow. It is at the earliest stage of the innovation life-cycle that the H&M Foundation can make a big difference by providing resources, access to a wide network and a broad set of skills. Access to capital, know-how and business support is scarce, and many great ideas never get to see the light of day. The Global Change Award want to find these ideas and give the innovators the support they need to make a difference.

Besides sharing a grant of 1 million euro, the winners embark on a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The program takes the innovations to the next level, the aim is to scale the innovations and enter the market as quickly as possible, to maximize their impact on the industry.

This tailor-made program 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, one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities. Throughout the year, the winners get continuous support and individual team coaching through the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH.

The winning innovations from 2020 include cotton grown in labs, creating fabrics on DNA level, tracking sustainable fibres by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester. An Expert Panel, chosen for their extensive knowledge within fashion, sustainability, circularity and innovation, help selecting the five winning innovations. All members of the Expert Panel work pro bono.

Neither the H&M Foundation nor H&M Group 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 group. 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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