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EUR 1 million grant to five innovations that can reinvent the fashion industry

TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clothing made of citrus by-products, microbes that digest waste polyester, and an online marketplace for textile leftovers are some of the five disruptive ideas that shared the first €1 million Global Change Award grant in 2015. The challenge is designed to spur early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, with the aim of protecting the planet and our living conditions. On September 1st, the non-profit H &M Foundation opens the second Global Change Award.

Initiated by H &M Foundation in 2015, the first Global Change Award received more than 2,700 applications from 112 countries. How the €1 million grant was shared between the five winners was up to the public to decide through an online vote at www.globalchangeaward.com.

"After seeing so many fantastic innovations from around the world with the potential to transform the fashion industry, we have been very eager to open up the next round of the Global Change Award. I am also honored to welcome some new members to the expert panel like Dame Ellen MacArthur, who besides making solo sailor history in 2005, has immense knowledge about the transition to a circular economy," says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H &M Foundation and CEO of H &M.

Making the fashion industry circular is not just about recycling. To encourage ideas from a broader scope Global Change Award 2016 has three categories open for applications: Circular business models covering ideas on how to reuse, repair, share, digitalize or extend the life of products. Circular materials looking for ideas on new fibres, recycling techniques, leather substitutes etc and Circular processes aiming to find new methods around chemicals, water and dyeing, as well as 3D printing, demand-driven manufacturing etc.

"By bringing together innovators to develop positive solutions, the Global Change Award is a great example of the approach needed to create change, and help shift the fashion industry towards a restorative and regenerative circular economy. I am excited to join the expert panel to help find the next five innovations that can be truly game-changing," says Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder and Chair of Trustees of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Other members of the expert panel to help identify the best innovations for Global Change Award 2016 include Amber Valletta, Ellis Rubinstein, Rebecca Earley, Franca Sozzani, David Roberts (new), Lewis Perkins (new), Vikram Widge (new) and Johan Kuylenstierna (new). Besides the grant, the winners also get access to a one year Innovation Accelerator organized by the H &M Foundation, in partnership with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. It is designed to help ensure the innovations can stand on their own as quickly as possible, and to maximize their impact on the industry.

By catalysing green, truly ground-breaking ideas, the Global Change Award takes on one of the biggest challenges facing today's fashion industry – creating fashion for a growing population, while improving its impact on the environment. H &M Foundation initiated the challenge to speed up this process for the entire fashion industry, and neither the H &M Foundation nor the company H &M take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations. The aim is to influence the fashion industry as a whole.

Information about the Global Change Award, how to apply and press material are available at www.globalchangeaward.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:
EXPERT PANEL

  • Rebecca Earley: Professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London and Director of its Textile Futures Research Centre
  • Johan L. Kuylenstierna: Executive Director for Stockholm Environment Institute (New)
  • Dame Ellen MacArthur: Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (New)
  • Lewis Perkins: President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (New)
  • David Roberts: Founder of Exponential Leadership, Chairman in 1Qbit Information Technologies Inc. (New)
  • Ellis Rubinstein: President and CEO, The New York Academy of Sciences
  • Franca Sozzani: Editor in Chief of Vogue Italia
  • Vikram Widge: Head of Climate and Carbon Finance at the World Bank Group (New)
  • Amber Valletta: Supermodel, actress, entrepreneur and sustainability influencer



KEY DATES
2016.09.01 – 2016.10.31 Apply at www.globalchangeaward.com
2016.11.01 – 2017.03.27 Expert panel screening and selection
2017.03.27 – 2017.04.02 Public online vote
2017.04.05 Grand Award Ceremony, Stockholm, Sweden
2017.04.06 – 2018.04.06 One Year Innovation Accelerator

UPDATES ON THE GLOBAL CHANGE AWARD WINNERS 2015
The winners of the Global Change Award 2015 are currently taking part of the one year Innovation Accelerator and are making great progress. Watch winner portraits on our YouTube channel.

  • Make waste-cotton new - Conversion of waste-cotton into new textile (FINLAND)

Successfully completed trials for a scalable solvent recycling strategy needed for further upscaling. Started to develop a prototype product from cotton waste.

  • The Polyester Digester - Using microbes to recycle waste polyester textile (U.S)

Securing partnerships with major polyester producer and chemical companies to test technology and improve cost efficiency versus virgin materials.

  • 100 percent citrus - Creating new textile out of citrus by-products (ITALY)

Expanded their R &D team with key competencies and working with major brands to assess fibre quality for large scale commercial collaborations.

  • An online market for textile leftovers - A marketplace for upcycling production spill (ESTONIA)

Developed a prototype of technology to prove the concept and value proposition for both brands and factories. Launched a pilot in China in June 2016.

  • Growing textile fiber under water - Utilizing algae to make renewable textile (THE NETHERLANDS)

Invited by the local government in Nanjing to the City Expo to proceed with talks on launching a pilot project in China. The mutual aim is to find a "playground" for the algae project to start a miniature supply chain as a show case in 2017.

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES
Facebook: Global Change Award, Twitter: @glblchangeaward, Instagram: @globalchangeaward
Hashtags: #gca2016, #HMFoundation.
YouTube channel: youtube.com/channel/UCnO-mFsN63PuuYzI0XgIR1A

For questions, please contact:
Emily Scarlett, H &M Canada
Telephone: 416.898.4807
E-mail: Emily.Scarlett@hm.com

The Global Change Award is an innovation challenge, initiated by non-profit H &M Foundation in 2015. By catalyzing early innovations that can accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, the aim is to protect the planet and our living conditions. An expert panel annually selects five winners that share a grant of €1 million and get access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H &M Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The global public is invited to distribute the €1 million grant between the five innovations through an online vote. The result of the vote is revealed at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm, April 2017. This is one of the world's biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry. The H &M Foundation is privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and the main owners of H &M. Since 2013, the family has donated SEK 1.1 billion (USD 154 million, EUR 123 million). For further information, please visit www.globalchangeaward.com.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=41299

CONTACT: Emily Scarlett, H &M Canada Telephone: 416.898.4807 E-mail: Emily.Scarlett@hm.com

Source: H&M Canada