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H&M Foundation unveils winning innovations for Global Change Award 2020

Tom Shearsmith
01 April 2020

H&M has announced the five winning fashion innovations in its 2020 Global Change Award, which will be awarded a total of €1 million by the H&M Foundation.

The winning innovations include lab-grown cotton and creating fabrics from protein DNA, to tracking sustainable fibres by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester.

Now, more than ever, the H&M Foundation aims to continue to support long-term development, innovation and entrepreneurship for a sustainable future with the goal to identify early stage ideas that can make fashion more sustainable, and to scale them to transform the entire industry.

Karl-Johan Persson, Board Member of H&M Foundation, said: "H&M Foundation supports the fight against the Corona virus, and at the same time we continue to support entrepreneurs and innovators for long-term sustainability. Every year I am amazed by the ideas submitted to the Global Change Award.

"The innovations are in themselves challenging the way we think about fashion. We need to leave the old, linear ways of thinking behind, and move faster towards a planet positive and sustainable model. The winning innovations will help our industry reinvent itself and hopefully inspire others to also find new solutions."

This year, the Global Change Award Expert Panel selected five winning innovations out of 5,893 entries from 175 countries, during the period August-October 2019.

The Global Change Award winners 2020:

€300,000 – Incredible Cotton by GALY Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.
€250,000 – Feature Fibres by Werewool Creating fabrics from protein DNA with natural colours, stretch and other features.
€150,000 – Tracing Threads by TextileGenesis Tracking sustainable fibres through transparent and reliable blockchain technology.
€150,000 – Zero Sludge by SeaChange Technologies Separating and cleaning wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills.
€150,000 – Airwear by Fairbrics Converting greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester.

In addition to the €1 million total grant, H&M Foundation enrolls the winners in a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The program, run with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, is designed to connect the winners with the fashion industry and speed up the process of bringing their innovations to the market.

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