H&M Foundation has named the five winners of its annual Global Change Awards, an initiative launched in 2015 which aims to find and support companies driving sustainable innovations in the fashion industry.
The winners were selected from a total of 5,893 initial entries from 175 different countries by an expert panel and will now share a grant of one million euros.
They will also take part in a one-year Innovation Accelerator Programme, run in cooperation with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, to further develop their technologies and connect them with leading companies in the fashion industry.
Five winners of Global Change Awards 2020 announced
Taking the top prize of 300,000 euros was Galy, a Brazilian but US-based firm which uses biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton called Incredible Cotton.
US company Werewool received 250,000 euros for its Feature Fibres which are made from protein DNA with natural colours, stretch and other features.
Indian company TextileGenesis was awarded 150,000 euros for macking sustainable fibres through transparent and reliable blockchain technology called Tracing Threads.
US company SeaChange Technologies received 150,000 euros for its Zero Sludge technology which separates and cleans wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills.
French company Fairbrics was awarded 150,000 euros for Airwear, a technology which converts greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester.
Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and former H&M CEO said in a statement: “H&M Foundation supports the fight against the coronavirus, 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.”
Since its launch in 2015, the Global Change Award has granted five million euros to 25 sustainable innovations.
Photo credit: H&M Foundation