The H&M Foundation describes the Global Change Award (GCA) as an early-stage innovation challenge looking for bright minds who can transform fashion.
Each year, the Foundation selects and supports the five most impactful innovations with the ultimate aspiration of a positive fashion future for the planet. This year, the H&M Foundation doubled the grant and winners to accelerate the transformation.
The ten winners of the 2023 GCA, sharing $2 million ($2.14 million) this year:
- Algreen (UK) bio-based foams, adhesives and coatings made from natural sources
- ALT-TEX (Canada) from waste to cupboard: transforming food waste into biodegradable polyester
- KBCols Sciences (India) bio-fermenting textile dyes with the magic of microorganisms
- Nanoloom (UK) Powerful high performance fiber powered by graphene
- PhycoLabs (Brazil) Oceans of Opportunity: Making Seaweed Fibers That Drive Social Innovation
- Rethread Africa (Kenya) Regenerating agricultural waste into bio-based synthetics
- DyeRecycle (UK) Renewed colours: extraction and transfer of dyes from old to new fabrics
- Refiberd (USA) Adding the speed of light and laser precision to textile sorting using AI and spectroscopy
- Tereform (USA) Enable circular solutions for hard-to-recycle textile waste
- SXD (USA) AI-powered platform transforming design concepts into zero-waste models
The H&M Foundation explained that the GCA was launched to provide the tools, connections and resources needed to take early-stage innovations from idea to scale as quickly as possible.
Winners will receive 0.2 million each and embark on the year-long GCA Impact Accelerator. The Foundation, together with key GCA partners, Accenture, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and The Mills Fabrica, offers tailored coaching and support to accelerate the winner’s journey from idea to scale.
Until last year, five winners were chosen under GCA to share a grant of 1 million.
Karl-Johan Persson, Board Member of the H&M Foundation and Chairman of the H&M Group, said: “We have an urgent opportunity to support innovations that could transform the entire fashion industry. is why we have doubled the grant and the number of winners. We were giving these innovators a total of 2 million and access to our acceleration program, but also giving the industry the opportunity to connect with these brilliant innovators. I am excited to see the impact these innovators will have on the industry. »
Christiane Dolva, head of strategy at the H&M Foundation, added that there is a wide range of solutions among this year’s winners. Dolva continued, “If scaled, I think they could have a real impact on the industry which needs a holistic transformation if we are to achieve a positive fashion future for the planet. We look forward to working with winners during the accelerator and helping to enable their innovations to accelerate and scale. »
In addition, the H&M Foundation emphasized that neither the Foundation nor the H&M Group takes any shareholder equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations. The winners are free to collaborate with whoever they want.
Last month, the Foundation said it was expanding its inclusive circularity efforts in the Indian textile industry by welcoming two new partners who are developing circular textile waste models with waste pickers in the lead role.
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