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H&M foundation launches fourth annual global change award 2018

The annual Global Change Award, initiated by the non-profit H&M foundation, aims to protect our planet and living conditions by accelerating the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry.

H&M Foundation Global Change Award 2018
Figure: H&M Foundation Global Change Award 2018. Credit: H&M

With over 8,000 entries from 151 countries since 2015, it’s the go-to competition for circular innovation and has been named the Nobel Prize of fashion. This year there is an extra eye on ideas within digitalization. From August 29, the third round opens for applications at globalchangeaward.com. The applications period is open until 17 October.

The Global Change Award wants to find tomorrow’s game changers. It can come from anyone, anywhere. The top five countries with the highest number of entries since 2015 are India, the US, Italy, Nigeria, and the UK.

The innovation should have the potential to make fashion circular and thereby protect the planet and our living conditions. Other criteria are its impact and scalability, that it’s novel and economically sustainable and that the team is suited to make a difference.

Erik Bang, Innovation lead at H&M Foundation, said that “This year we keep an extra eye on digital innovations which can make a significant impact on efficiency, planning and resource use – all the way from making the raw material to a garment’s end of life.”

“Digitalization has the potential to disrupt at the root, reinvent how things are done and help producers, sellers, and customers to become circular,” he continued.

Karl-Johan Persson, the board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M, expressed that, “New ideas are the foundation for change, but scaling them is an enormous challenge for every innovator. Together with our partners Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, we’ve seen previous winners cut years off their timeline through our accelerator program.”

He further added that “Now, we are eager to welcome five new circular heroes and encourage everyone who wants to reinvent one of the world’s largest industries to apply.”

An international expert panel with extensive knowledge within fashion, environment, circularity, entrepreneurship, and innovation selects the five winners which are crowned at the Grand Award Ceremony in Stockholm City Hall in April 2019.

“Innovation and collaboration lead fashion’s shift to circularity and a more sustainable future. The Global Change Award’s support to material and systems innovators not only helps to accelerate the success of each individual awardee but also impacts the progress of the global fashion industry”, said Steven Kolb, President, and CEO the Council of Fashion Designers of America & member of the Global Change Award 2019 Expert Panel.

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