The annual Global Change Award, initiated by the non-profit H&M Foundation, aims to protect our planet and living conditions by accelerating the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry. The five winners share a €1 million grant, along with a one-year innovation accelerator program providing tailor-made support and invaluable access to the fashion industry. Last year, more than 2,800 applications from 130 countries were submitted. The third round has just opened for applications at globalchangeaward.com.
The Global Change Award is one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry. Some of last year’s winning innovations were leather made of wine making leftovers, digital threads weaved into garments to ease the recycling processes and climate positive nylon made from water, plant waste and solar energy. Neither the non-profit H&M Foundation nor the H&M group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations, as the aim is to influence the fashion industry as a whole.
“Now in its third year, the Global Change Award has really become a positive force in the fashion industry. It has proven to be a true catalyst for the winners, giving them support and access to a valuable network so they can bring their innovations to the market quicker and better prepared. I’m really curious to see what disruptive innovations we will receive this time,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB.
An Expert Panel with extensive knowledge within fashion, environment, circularity and innovation select the five winners, and it’s then up to the public to distribute the €1million grant through an online vote. Besides sharing the grant, the winners are provided with a one-year Global Change Award Accelerator Program that will speed up the development of their innovations and maximize the impact on the industry. The program will take the teams to Stockholm, New York and Shanghai, and is provided by the H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture, one of the world’s leading strategy and consulting companies, and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities.
“Sustainable and responsible consumption is the way forward. We must find better ways to make what we use, and wisely use what we have. The Global Change Award is an important initiative to drive this forward. By intentionally and thoughtfully reusing, recycling, and repurposing, we can drive significant and radical improvements to our world,” says Professor Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and member of the Expert Panel.
THE EXPERT PANEL:
- Bandana Tewari, Editor-at-large, Vogue India
- Chiling Lin, Actress and sustainability influencer
- Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- David Roberts: Distinguished Faculty Singularity University
- Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel
- Lewis Perkins, President Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
- Sophia Bendz, Executive in residence at Atomico
- Steven Kolb, President and CEO The Council of Fashion Designers of America
- Vikram Widge, Head, Climate Finance & Policy, IFC, World Bank Group
- Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director, Earth Guardians