H&M Foundation announces winners of its annual innovation challenge Global Change Award

Stockholm, SWEDEN, 2017-Apr-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — The public have cast their votes. On April 5, at a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall, the five winners of H&M Foundation’s annual innovation challenge Global Change Award were awarded. The 1 million euro grant was split between them by the global public in an online vote. In addition, a trend report is released today (6 APR, 2017) highlighting learnings about the future of sustainable fashion by looking at the thousands of disruptive ideas from 130 different countries.

To speed up the shift to a circular waste-free fashion industry, the non-profit H&M Foundation initiated Global Change Award in 2015, calling for game-changing ideas that can help reinvent the entire industry.The online vote was held 27 March to 2 April, and the votes are placed:

  • €300,000: Innovation: Grape Leather, Team lead: Rossella Longobardo, Italy
  • €250,000: Innovation: Solar Textiles, Team lead: Miguel A. Modestino, US/Switzerland
  • €150,000: Innovation: Content Thread, Team lead: Natasha Franck, US/UK
  • €150,000: Innovation: Denim-dyed Denim, Team lead: Xungai Wang, Australia
  • €150,000: Innovation: Manure Couture, Team lead: Jalila Essaidi, The Netherlands

“We are deeply glad that such a prestigious Foundation recognised the value of our innovation and strongly believed in it. Our first objectives will consist in switching from a pilot to an industrial scale production our fabric and starting a green, cruelty-free revolution within the leather industry, finally solving its related issues and overexploitations,” says Rossella Longobardo from the team behind Wine Leather (“Grape Leather”).

“The Global Change Award is the first of its kind challenge for early stage innovation in fashion and we are impressed by the level of bold creativity and disruptive innovation shown by the five award winners.”

Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director of Retail at Accenture

“I congratulate all five winning teams. They have the potential to help reinvent the fashion industry, enabling products and resources to have more than one life. Winning the Global Change Award gives you a boost through funding, coaching, industry access and validation that you probably can’t find elsewhere. If you want to help reinvent one of the largest industries in the world, this is the place to go,” says Karl-Johan Persson, Board member of H&M Foundation and CEO of H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

The award ceremony on April 5 marked the beginning of a one year innovation accelerator, provided by the H&M Foundation in collaboration with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The program will help the winners develop their ideas, focusing on three main areas; circular economy, innovation and fashion industry connection.

“Consumer expectations for more sustainable products are placing an emphasis on the industry to fundamentally re-examine and re-design the entire fashion value chain. The Global Change Award is the first of its kind challenge for early stage innovation in fashion and we are impressed by the level of bold creativity and disruptive innovation shown by the five award winners. We are passionate about helping them further develop their inspiring ideas through the Accelerator program, to support them in driving the change towards a circular fashion industry,” said Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director of Retail at Accenture.

“Sustainable development is one of KTH’s pillars and as a world-class university of technology we’re an obvious engine and knowledge hub for this. These five amazing innovations can contribute in building a sustainable future and we look forward to kick off the one year accelerator program with the winners,” says Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH.

Global Change Award has quickly become the fashion industry’s hot spot for circular innovation, and now a Trend Report gathering the learnings so far is released today by Accenture and the H&M Foundation. It puts the spotlight on what to learn about the future of sustainable fashion by looking at the disruptive ideas from 130 countries competing in the Global Change Award. The report outlines interesting findings and trends within circular fashion and open innovation, based on analytics performed on the close to 3,000 applications submitted for the second Global Change Award.


Press material: globalchangeaward.com/press

Trend Report: https://issuu.com/globalchangeaward/docs/global_change_award_-_trend_report

Images and films from the Grand Award Ceremony: https://app.frame.io?p=l3weYtle (supports Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera).

GCA YouTube channel: youtube.com/channel/UCnO-mFsN63PuuYzI0XgIR1A

Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by the non-profit H&M Foundation in 2015. In September 2016, the second round was launched. By catalyzing early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, the aim is to protect the planet and our living conditions. Global Change Award is one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry. Neither the H&M Foundation nor the company H&M take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations. The aim is to influence the fashion industry as a whole. For further information, please visit globalchangeaward.com.

H&M Foundation is privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Since 2013, the family has donated SEK 1.1 billion ($154 million, €123 million) to the foundation, aiming to improve living conditions for people on a global scale. For more information, please visit hmfoundation.com.


Malin Björne
PR & Communications Manager
H&M Foundation
+46 70 796 39 75

Source: H&M