All About the Global Change Award and Why It’s a Game Changer
This was supposed to be a quick note on the Global Change Award that took place in Stockholm on March 20th, but as it turns out, there is quite a lot to say about it. Like that the winner, Crop-A-Porter, wants to help the fashion industry get over its cotton addiction. About time someone did.
We were supposed to attend the as of 2015 yearly award ceremony in Stockholm the other day, but unfortunately, health failed us (huge disappointment!). However, thanks to the H&M press team, we can still share some highlights.
This third year, the Global Change Award competition received over 2,600 contributions of eco-conscious innovations from 151 countries, and apparently, 61% of the applicants were women (!). So, on March 20th, the five very lucky (and brainy, we assume) winners were announced and allocated a share of the 1 million euro grant, provided by the non-profit H&M Foundation.
All innovations were selected because of their potential to contribute to a shift towards a circular, waste-free fashion industry, and with that a healthier planet (we all know we need one). This year was all about digitalization, smart processes and new, unexpected materials—innovations with the potential of changing the fashion game forever. The Global Change Award jury also look for ideas that are scalable, economically sustainable and innovative, and teams with the right skill sets to make it happen.
Here’s how it works: The jury selects five winners, and then the public, us, get the chance to vote for their favorites. So, meet the winners: 1. Crop-A-Porter (sustainable bio-textiles made from leftover food crop harvests). 2. Algae Apparel (turns algae into bio-fibers and eco-friendly dye). 3. Smart Stitch (makes dissolvable thread). 4. The Regenerator (a new recycling method for cotton and polyester blends). 5. Fungi Fashion (custom-made clothes made from decomposable mushroom roots—how cool though?).
With Agraloop BioFibre TM (this is the name of the innovation) Crop-A-Porter wants to make a change towards a new paradigm in textile fiber production, where natural fibers are made from food waste instead of cotton (woop!). They want to “help the fashion industry get rid of their cotton addiction” by challenging this world-dominating fiber; and rightly so.
So, what’s next? It’s called “The Accelerator”. For one year, starting now, the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH will help each team accelerate their development process, and introduce them to innovation hubs like Stockholm, New York and Shanghai. This will give them the tools they need to realise their ideas, maximise their capacity and get access to the fashion industry. Hope they take it by storm.
Image: H&M Studio SS18
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