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IB brings solutions to fashion industry to increase its sustainability.

Fashion is one of the least-sustainable industries. As part of an effort by Swedish multinational retail-clothing company to seek new circular approaches throughout the whole fashion value chain, the Global Change Awards (€1,000,000 grant) was launched. Initiated by H&M Conscious Foundation, the awards seek to change the way fashion is designed, produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled.

This first competition attracted 2,700 innovators from 112 countries to share their ideas on new circular approaches throughout the whole value chain of the fashion industry. The H&M Conscious Foundation reviewed the applications with the help of innovation collaborators KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Accenture and the Expert Jury. The five ideas considered to have most potential in helping close the loop for fashion were selected as winners and then a total of 22,500 online votes were placed to split the €1million grant between the five wining projects:

  • Fist place (€300,000) was for Finnish group with the project: “Making waste-cotton new: Conversion of waste-cotton into new textile”. It’s a new technology that dissolves textile waste allows for waste cotton to be used as raw material in the production of new textiles, without loss in quality.
  • Second place (€250,000) was for a USA group with the project “The polyester digester - Using microbes to recycle waste polyester textile”. A new type of microbe is being developed that eats waste polyester to create useful ingredients, which in turn can be used to produce new polyester without a loss in quality
  • Third place (150,000) was for Estoninan group with the project "An online market for textile leftovers - A marketplace for industrial upcycling of spill in production". A global online marketplace is being developed to collect and process textile spill data, in real time, from manufacturers directly to designers and into the design process of new clothes.
  • Fourth place (€150,000) for an Italian group with the project “100 percent citrus - Creating new textile out of citrus juice production byproducts”. Using by-products from citrus juice production, instead of growing a dedicated crop, creates an opportunity to produce more sustainable textiles. The yarn produced from the by-products can be used to create different types of textiles and addresses the demand for high quality sustainable textiles. Since the process uses resources and materials already produced it improves the environmental impact related to industrial waste, while extracting a raw material fitting for spinning new yarn.
  • Fifth place (€150,000) for Dutch group with the project "Utilizing algae to make renewable textile" Algae are organic sea-organisms that, when picked out of coastal regions, gives the opportunity to create a new type of raw material to produce renewable textile.

To further accelerate the transforamtion towards a circular fashion industry, the Foundation now launches the Global Change Award Network, an open-source database for innovations. 

If you have new solutions for fashion/textile industry

  • this award competions opens again in August 2016. 
  • Textile Future Forum (TFF) is running its second Innovation Challange Competions to increase opportunities for business and academia to participate and bid for funding from TFF Challange Fund. Succesfull projects will be awarded up to £55,000 grant to stimulate innovation. Deadline 14 April 2016. 


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