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With 1 million euro up for grabs the fifth round of Global Change Award is now open.


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By 2030, the global middle class is expected to have increased to 5 billion people and the consumption of textiles and shoes by 65% compared to 2015. The world is already using around 1.6 planet’s worth of resources every year. But creativity and innovation can flip the numbers in planet’s favor and help enable the biggest transformation ever in the fashion industry. With a circular mindset fashion can be designed, produced, sold, used, reused and recycled in a way where resources are used and reused indefinitely in a closed loop. On August 28 the fifth round of Global Change Award opens.

“In its fifth year, the Global Change Award has proven a great gateway for innovators to enter the fashion industry and transform it from the inside. We’ve seen previous winners move from sketching table to market — but more importantly, inspiring a new generation of creatives, scientists and entrepreneurs to reduce the planetary impact of the fashion industry through innovation. The next big idea that will change the game can come from anyone anywhere. So, if you have an idea you believe in this is the place to go”, says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

For GCA 2020 there’s an extra eye looking for innovations within the below three themes, all of them addressing the urgency for fashion to operate within the planetary boundaries:

  • Consumer-Centric – innovations empowering consumers to be part of the solution and creating a sustainable fashion future, ranging from how to increase a garment’s lifetime to nudging greener actions.
  • Digital & Data – innovations using technology and data in creative ways that will make fashion smarter by significantly reducing the environmental impact of fashion.
  • Circular Design – innovations spanning over the whole ecosystem of fashion across all touchpoints, from the garment design process and packaging to technical solutions, looping the resources in a never-ending cycle, instead of one-time use.

“This year, we are especially looking for innovations that make it easier for us as consumers to act more sustainably, ideas that use technology and data that make the fashion industry smarter and solutions that facilitate design with a circular intention”, says Erik Bang, Innovation Lead, H&M Foundation.

To win, the innovation should have the potential to make fashion circular and to scale. Other criteria are novelty, that the idea is economically sustainable, and that the innovation team is committed to making a difference. Maybe even more important than the 1 million euro grant, the five winners embark on a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program taking them to Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong. In the accelerator, H&M Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology support the winners in taking their ideas to the next level, with guidance on how to scale up quickly and maximize their impact on the industry.

H&M Foundation initiated the challenge to find innovations that allow major change for the entire industry, and the winner can collaborate with whoever they want. Neither the non-profit H&M Foundation nor H&M Group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.

Submission deadline is 16 October 2019 and the five winners are crowned at the Grand Award Ceremony in Stockholm City Hall in April 2020

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