Apr 1, 2020
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H&M Foundation unveils winning innovations for Global Change Award

Apr 1, 2020

H&M has announced the five winning innovations in its 2020 Global Change Award. They include lab-grown cotton and a way of creating fabrics from protein DNA, as well as the ability to track sustainable fibres by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester.

H&M Foundation/Global Change Award

It’s the fifth year for the non-profit H&M Foundation event that aims to identify early stage, disruptive ideas to make fashion more sustainable, and to scale them to transform the industry.

The company said it’s even more important in these uncertain times to “find and encourage ideas that can contribute to a more sustainable future for us and generations to come”.

The five winners were picked out of 5,893 entries from 175 countries. They include the top prize of €300,000 going to Incredible Cotton by GALY from the US/Brazil. It uses biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.

€250,000 goes to Feature Fibres by Werewool, also US-based, that’s creating fabrics from protein DNA with natural colours, stretch and other features.

Three innovations get €150,000. That amount has been awarded to Tracing Threads by TextileGenesis from India that’s tracking sustainable fibres through transparent and reliable blockchain technology; America’s Zero Sludge by SeaChange Technologies gets the same amount as it works to separate and clean wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills; and France’s Airwear by Fairbrics is converting greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester.

But it’s not just the financial reward that's important as the foundation is enrolling the winners in a one-year innovation accelerator programme that's run in cooperation with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. This 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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