Friday 9 September 2016

global change award take two

My fascination with H&M and sustainability continues . . .

Are they are a fast fashion mega-retailer merely seeking the largest financial bottom line? Are they true sustainability champions? Can high-volume fashion stores ever be 'sustainable', no matter what fabrics are used?

One thing is for certain, H&M support sustainability innovations that have the potential to transform the fashion industry in a way I don't see from any other international fashion brand, and that's enough to keep my interest piqued.

H&M have recently launched the second generation of their Global Change Awards with a focus on supporting a circular fashion industry. This year the Awards are accepting applications for:
  • 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.
  • Circular processes aiming to find new methods around chemicals, water and dyeing, as well as 3D printing, demand-driven manufacturing, etc. 
Applications are open to anyone, and they encourage early innovations and ideas. Five winning applicants will be selected by a panel of expert judges, and they will share a 1 million euro grant and participate in an 'innovation accelerator' program with the H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Last year brought 2,700 entries, but I suspect this year will bring even more now that they are looking beyond technological advances and are welcoming ideas around business models as well. (Hmmm, maybe I'll submit an idea . . .)

If you have a brilliant innovation bubbling away in your mind, get your application in before the end of October. I'd love to see a SWS reader's name up in lights, and to see your ideas brought to life in a way that can transition this industry in need of change.

Find all the details on their website - and good luck!