5 Innovators Share H&M’s €1million Global Change Award
Yesterday in Stockholm, HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden awarded the winners of the first Global Change Award, an annual innovation challenge for circular fashion initiated by the non-profit H&M Conscious Foundation. Most votes, and a grant of €300,000, were awarded to the Finnish team behind Making waste-cotton new; conversion of waste-cotton into new textile. To further accelerate the transformation towards a circular fashion industry, the Foundation now launches the Global Change Award Network, an open-source database for innovations.
The online vote, open to the public, received 22,500 votes between 1-7 February and the results are:
- €300,000: Making waste-cotton new - conversion of waste-cotton into new textile.
Innovation team lead: Michael Hummel, Finland. (31% of the votes)
- €250,000: The polyester digester - using microbes to recycle waste polyester textile.
Innovation team lead: Akshay Sethi, U.S. (22% of the votes)
- €150,000: An online market for textile leftovers - a marketplace for industrial upcycling of spill in production.
Innovation team lead: Ann Runnel, Estonia. (18% of the votes)
- €150,000: 100 percent citrus - creating new textile out of citrus juice production by-products.
Innovation team lead: Enrica Arena, Italy. (15% of the votes)
- €150,000: Growing textile fibre under water - utilizing algae to make renewable textile.
Innovator: Tjeerd Veenhoven, the Netherlands. (14% of the votes)
This prestigious grant will allow us to lift our technology closer to an industrially viable level. Now we will focus on the further development of technical details, in particular the solvent recovery to ensure economic competitiveness and complete environmental friendliness of our process,
says Michael Hummel, spokesperson for the Finnish team behind Making waste-cotton new – conversion of waste-cotton into new textile.
Inspired by the response from the global innovation community, and to spark impact beyond the five winners, the Foundation now launches the Global Change Award Network, a public digital space where teams and ideas can grow.
When the application period closed, we sat with thousands of amazing ideas. So we decided to create the Global Change Award Network. You can look at it as a matchmaking site, where innovators can present their ideas, get feedback, make contacts and maybe investors can even find the next big thing. A digital greenhouse for innovative ideas,
says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation and CEO of H&M.
The award ceremony on 10 February marked the beginning of a one year innovation accelerator, provided by H&M Conscious Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. The program will help the winners develop their ideas, focusing on three main areas; circular economy, innovation and fashion industry connection.
The Global Change Award was introduced in August 2015 by the non-profit H&M Conscious Foundation. Between 25 August and 31 October the challenge was open for anyone to apply. Over 2,700 innovators from 112 countries contributed. The H&M Conscious Foundation reviewed the applications with the help of innovation collaborators KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Accenture and the Expert jury. The five ideas considered to have most potential in helping close the loop for fashion was selected as winners.