The H&M Foundationâ€™s Global Change Awards now in its second year take on one of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry today â€“ creating clothes for a growing population, while improving its impact on the environment. The foundation is offering a million euro grant for innovators with ideas about how to make fashion more sustainable.
Last yearâ€™s winning ideas include clothing made of citrus by-products, microbes that digest waste polyester and an online marketplace for textile leftovers.
Supermodel Amber Valletta is among the judges assessing this yearâ€™s entrants. Valletta said that the demand for more - everything from clothes, food and energy - continues to put an enormous strain on both planet and people. It is known by all that this voracious consumption - buy, use and dispose - is not sustainable.
It needs a shift into a circular model, particularly in fashion, where innovation and style - from design to â€˜end of useâ€™ - meet to solve these problems.
Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M, said the Global Change Award aims to spark ideas that enable products and resources to have more than one life.
Finding ways to reinvent the fashion industry is a fundamental part of a more sustainable future.
Moving towards a circular fashion industry is of immense importance. Even though itâ€™s challenging, it also opens up great opportunities, and makes clear business sense.
Innovations that occur as a result of the awards will not be â€œownedâ€ by H&M - they will be made available to the whole fashion industry.
Persson further added that The Global Change Award aims to speed up the transition to a circular business model for the entire fashion industry..
The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M.
Applicants have until 31 October to submit their claims for a share of the Global Change Award, while a public vote at www.globalchangeaward.com will decide how the money is split between the five winners. The public online vote will begin in March 2017, while the award ceremony will take place in Stockholm in April 2017.
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