Bio-fibers among Global Change Award winners announced by H&M Foundation

Bio-fibers among Global Change Award winners announced by H&M Foundation

April 26, 2019
Press Release: H&M Foundation

Fashion innovations rewarded for sustainability efforts by H&M Foundation

Lab-made vegan leather, fibers made of nettles, a digital system to make products recyclable from scratch, children’s clothes that expand and a biodegradable toxic-free membrane for outdoor wear are this year’s Global Change Award winners, sharing a €1 million grant from the H&M Foundation.

“The winners of the Global Change Award prove that it’s possible to improve the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and CEO of H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB. “They are a true inspiration and great partners to any fashion company that wants to contribute to protecting the planet and our living conditions. The initiative with Indiegogo adds an important piece as it also enables the public to be at the very heart of finding and funding a future for sustainable style.”

In addition to the financial grant, all winners also get access to a one-year innovation accelerator program provided by H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, taking them to Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong. The program also gives access to virtual coaching sessions during the year. This setup brings significant value to the winners and has proven to cut years off the development timeline.

“In five years, our idea will have increased the use of fiber recycling and multiple reuse possibilities tremendously,” said said Ina Budde, co-founder of circular.fashion, one of the winners. “We envision that 150 million circularity.IDs will be out on the market, ensuring that each circularly designed garment will be regenerated to high-quality fibers after use.”

Among the thousands of entries to this year’s Global Change Award, 45% rank ‘funding’ as their biggest obstacle. Clearly, crowdfunding holds great untapped potential as a funding option as well as an opportunity for the whole innovation ecosystem to contribute and make a difference. H&M Foundation’s initiative with Indiegogo puts consumers in the front seat, enabling them to take active part as supporters, backers and testers of the five innovations.

“Additional funding could unlock the opportunity for us to experiment with recycled fibers, colors and patterns that we are currently unable to achieve at our size,” said Ryan Yasin, founder of Petit Pli, another prize winner. “It would also allow us to make additional hires needed ahead of entering scaled production of Petit Pli suits.”

Selected out of 6,640 entries from 182 countries by the prominent expert panel, here are this year’s Global Change Award winners and how the €1 million grant is distributed:

  • €300,000 – The Loop Scoop by circular.fashion: A digital system aiming to close the loop on every garment from design to wear to recycling (Germany);
  • €250,000 – Sane Membrane by dimpora: A biodegradable and mineral-based membrane for outdoor wear (Switzerland);
  • €150,000 – Sustainable Sting by Green Nettle Textile: Growing nettles to create sustainable fashion fibers and opportunities for farmers in Kenya to boost their livelihoods (Kenya);
  • €150,000 – Clothes that Grow by Petit Pli: Outfits that expand with the child, while reducing environmental impact (UK);
  • €150,000 – Lab Leather by Le Qara: Using microorganisms to create vegan biodegradable leather for the fashion industry (Peru).

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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