The €1 million H&M Global Change Award is Now Open

By Staff | Events
Posted Sep 1, 2016

H&M Foundation to allocate €1 million grant to five innovations that can reinvent the fashion industry

Are you an innovator or change maker in the fashion industry? Starting today, the H&M Foundation is accepting applications for their Global Change Award. Five innovations will share €1 million. Last year’s winners included:

  • Clothing made of citrus by-products
  • Textile fiber grown under water
  • Conversion of waste-cotton into new textile
  • Microbes that digest waste polyester
  • An online marketplace for textile leftovers

By supporting ground-breaking ideas, the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award supports innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, improving fashion’s impact on the environment.

Last year, the award received more than 2,700 applications from 112 countries. The decision on how the €1 million grant was shared between the five winners was up to the public to decide through an online vote.  (Neither the H&M Foundation nor H&M itself take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations).

“After seeing so many fantastic innovations from around the world with the potential to transform the fashion industry, we have been very eager to open up the next round of the Global Change Award. I am also honored to welcome some new members to the expert panel like Dame Ellen MacArthur, who besides making solo sailor history in 2005, has immense knowledge about the transition to a circular economy,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M.

The Global Change Award 2016 has three categories open for applications:

  1. Circular business models covering ideas on how to reuse, repair, share, digitalize or extend the life of products
  2. Circular materials initiating ideas for new fibers, recycling techniques, leather substitutes, etc.
  3. Circular processes aiming to find new methods around chemicals, water and dyeing, as well as 3D printing, demand-driven manufacturing and more

“By bringing together innovators to develop positive solutions, the Global Change Award is a great example of the approach needed to create change, and help shift the fashion industry towards a restorative and regenerative circular economy. I am excited to join the expert panel to help find the next five innovations that can be truly game-changing,” says Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Other members of the expert panel to help identify the best innovations include Amber Valletta, Ellis Rubinstein, Rebecca Earley, Franca Sozzani, David Roberts (new), Lewis Perkins (new), Vikram Widge (new) and Johan Kuylenstierna (new). Besides the grant, the winners also get access to a one year Innovation Accelerator organized by the H&M Foundation, in partnership with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. It is designed to help ensure the innovations can stand on their own as quickly as possible, and to maximize their impact on the industry.

Don’t miss these key dates:

2016.09.01 – 2016.10.31 Apply at

2016.11.01 – 2017.03.27 Expert panel screening and selection

2017.03.27 – 2017.04.02 Public online vote

2017.04.05 Grand Award Ceremony, Stockholm, Sweden

2017.04.06 – 2018.04.06 One Year Innovation Accelerator

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