Five winners will share a €1 million grant for innovation in sustainable fashion after a vote decides how to split the funds. The grant is part of The Global Change Award, an H&M Foundation challenge.
The H&M Foundation created The Global Change Award as an incentive to “make fashion circular” and protect the environment. The driving idea of circular fashion is to transform the industry so that nothing is wasted. Recycling is a start, but the challenge that the award puts forward is to innovate new sustainable processes, materials, and business models.
The winning ideas this year include processes and invention. “Manure couture” involves converting cow manure into fabrics, while “Grape leather” is a faux leather manufactured from winemaking waste product. On the practices side are “Solar textiles” a process to use solar energy for fabric production; “Denim-dyed denim,” a process to use old denims for coloring new denim products; and “Content thread,” which uses digital threads to sort and recycle clothing.
A panel of eight selected the five 2016 winners.
The panel includes a lineup of experts in various industry, science and business fields. Those experts were Rebecca Earley, who is a professor at the University of the Arts London, as well as the university’s Textile Futures Research Centre director; s€ustainability influencer Amber Valletta, who is also a supermodel and actress; Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute president Lewis Perkins; and Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Ellen MacArthur.
Also on the panel were the Stockholm Environment executive director Johan L. Kuylenstierna; New York Academy of Sciences CEO and president Ellis Rubinstein; the chairman for 1Qbit Information Technologies Inc. David Roberts, who also founded Exponential Leadership; and the World Bank Group’s head of Climate and Carbon Finance, Vikram Widge.
In addition to a part of the grant, winners will also receive support and insights from the H&M Foundation, along with Accenture and Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Voting for the grant’s allotment to the winners is open to the public until April 2.