H&M Foundation, the non-profit organisation, declared the winner of this year’s Global Change Award that aims to protect the planet and living conditions by catalysing early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry. The prominent expert panelists made a selection out of 6,640 entries from 182 countries this year and granted € 1 million prize money to the winners.
German startup ‘circular.fashion’ bagged the first position and a cash amount of € 300,000, along with one-year mentorship for designing an online platform ‘The Loop Scoop’ that gives the startup the knowledge, tools and resources needed to design recyclable items.
“In five years, our idea will have increased the use of fiber recycling and multiple reuse possibilities tremendously. We envision that 150 million circularity.ID’s will be out on the market, ensuring that each circularly designed garment will be regenerated to high quality fibers after use.” – Ina Budde, Co-Founder, circular.fashion
The other winners were Dimpora, which seized the second award with a cash amount of € 250,000. The Switzerland-based company is a biodegradable and mineral-based membrane for outdoor wear developed called Sane Membrane. Green Nettle Textile, confirmed the third award with € 150,000 cash. The Kenya-based company is growing nettles to create sustainable fashion fibers ‘Sustainable Sting’and opportunities for farmers in Kenya to boost their livelihoods.
“The winners of the Global Change Award prove that it’s possible to improve the environmental impact of the fashion industry. They are a true inspiration and great partners to any fashion company that wants to contribute to protecting the planet and our living conditions. The initiative with Indiegogo adds an important piece as it also enables the public to be at the heart of finding and funding a future for sustainable style.”– Karl-Johan Persson, Board Member, H&M Foundation and CEO, H&M
The fourth and fifth categories were secured by the UK’s Petit Pli and Peru’s Le Qara for ‘Clothes that Grow’ and ‘Lab Leather’, respectably, securing a cash prize of € 150,000 each for making outfits that expand with the child, while reducing environmental impact and the other for using microorganisms to create vegan biodegradable leather for the fashion industry
“Additional funding could unlock the opportunity for us to experiment with recycled fibers, colours and patterns, which we currently are unable to achieve at our size. It would also allow us to make additional hires needed ahead of entering scaled production of Petit Pli suits,” said Ryan Yasin, founder of Petit Pli.
Apart from the financial grant, all winners also get access to a one-year innovation accelerator programme provided by H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, taking them to Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong. The programme also gives access to virtual coaching sessions during the year. This setup brings significant value to the winners and has proven to cut years off the development timeline.