The H&M Conscious Foundation, an independent organization that compliments the fast fashion retailer’s sustainability efforts, launched the Global Change Award Tuesday, which fosters innovative ideas toward closing the loop in the fashion industry.
Five winners will be chosen by a jury of textile and fashion experts and will share a grant of 1 million euro ($1.1 million) and gain access to an innovation accelerator. The Global Change Award is working to create fashion for a growing population while reducing its impact on the environment.
“The question for fashion is no longer ‘What is the new black?’ but rather ‘What innovative ideas can close the loop?’” said Rebecca Earley, professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London, director of its Textile Futures Research Centre and member of the Global Change Award Jury. “The Global Change Award is looking for ideas that will protect the earth’s natural resources, and I am excited to be part of it.”
The innovation accelerator is a collaboration with business management consulting company, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, which will provide winners with the support and knowledge needed to bring their ideas to life. The winners will first participate in an innovation boot camp in Stockholm provided by KTH Innovation followed by guidance from Accenture Strategy on how to further develop their ideas. This includes a one-year training and coaching program focused on circular economy.
The H&M Conscious Foundation’s goal is to encourage long-lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Neither the foundation nor H&M will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.
“Ground-breaking, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, so the challenge is open to anyone,” said Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO and Conscious Foundation board member. “Each year the Global Change Award aims to find the truly brave and bold ideas that make change. I’m also eager to see how the fashion industry as a whole will embrace the challenge of closing the loop.”
The public is invited to distribute half of the total grant via an online vote with the result revealed at a grand award ceremony slated to take place in Stockholm in February 2016.
For more information about the Global Change Award, visit globalchangeaward.com.