SOURCE: H&M

H&M

August 25, 2015 10:00 ET

H&M Conscious Foundation Gives EUR1 Million Grant to Pioneering Ideas Closing the Loop for Fashion

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 25, 2015) - On August 25th, the H&M Conscious Foundation launches the first-ever Global Change Award -- one of the world's biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first initiative of its kind in the fashion industry. By catalyzing green, truly ground-breaking ideas, the aim of the Challenge is to protect the earth's natural resources by closing the loop for fashion.

Five winners, chosen by an expert jury, will share a grant of EUR1 million and receive access to a tailor-made innovation accelerator. The global public will be invited to distribute half of the total grant through an online vote. The results will be announced at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm in February 2016.

"As the population of our planet heads towards 9 billion, every industry will need to innovate at the edge of their current imagination to safeguard the environment. The Global Change Award gives us the opportunity to catalyze important breakthroughs throughout the fashion industry's entire value chain," says Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO at New York Academy of Sciences, and member of the Global Change Award Jury.

The H&M Conscious Foundation is a non-profit global foundation funded by the Persson family -- founders and main owners of the Swedish fashion company H&M. The mission of the Foundation is to drive lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. The Global Change Award takes on one of the biggest questions facing today's fashion industry: how to create fashion for a growing population while reducing fashion's impact on the environment. Neither the Foundation nor the company H&M will receive any equity or intellectual property rights for the innovations.

"Ground-breaking, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, so the Challenge is open to anyone. Each year the Global Change Award aims to find the truly brave and bold ideas that bring about change. I'm also eager to see how the fashion industry as a whole will embrace the challenge of closing the loop," says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation and CEO of H&M.

The innovation accelerator -- a collaboration with Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm -- will give the five winners the support and knowledge they need to make their ideas a reality. Starting off with an innovation boot camp in Stockholm, provided by KTH Innovation, winners will then receive guidance from Accenture Strategy on how to develop their winning ideas further. This includes a one-year training and coaching program with a particular focus on circular economy.

The innovation accelerator will also provide exclusive fashion industry access and offer possibilities to build networks and try out the ideas within the fashion value chain.

Information about the Global Change Award, grant application procedures, and updates on the Challenge are available at www.globalchangeaward.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Members of the jury

  • Dr. Michael Braungart -- Academic Chair "Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality" at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Professor at Leuphana University Lüneburg; Scientific Director of EPEA Hamburg.
  • Prof. Rebecca Earley -- Professor in Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design at University of the Arts London and Director of the university's Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC)
  • Ms. Eva Kruse -- CEO, Danish Fashion Institute; CEO, Copenhagen Fashion Week
  • Prof. Johan Rockström -- Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and Professor in Environmental Science with emphasis on water resources and global sustainability, Stockholm University
  • Mr. Ellis Rubinstein -- President and CEO, the New York Academy of Sciences
  • Ms. Amber Valletta -- Supermodel, Actress & Entrepreneur

Key dates
25.08.2015 First-ever Global Change Award launched and application period opens at www.globalchangeaward.com.
31.10.2015 Application period closes.
01.02.2016 Five winners, selected by the expert jury, are announced. Each winner is guaranteed EUR100,000. The global public is invited to distribute the other half of the total grant through an online vote.
07.02.2016 Online voting closes. Half of the total grant will be distributed among the five winners.
10.02.2016 Results of the voting announced at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm.

Close the Loop and Circular Economy
In a world with environmental challenges and increasing pressure on resources, the circular approach represents a radical departure from traditional, linear production and consumption models of "take, make, waste" to a model where products and resources are designed to have more than one life. Closing the loop for fashion means finding new approaches in the whole value chain of the industry, and changing the way garments are designed, produced, shipped, bought, used, and recycled.

The theory of circular economy may be the biggest revolution in the global economy in 250 years. It challenges companies to rethink their business models and customer relationships by disconnecting growth from the single use of natural resources and environmental impact. This creates new business opportunities as well as an unassailable competitive advantage.

The Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by H&M Conscious Foundation in 2015. By catalyzing green, truly game-changing ideas, the aim is to protect the earth's natural resources and close the loop for fashion. The challenge annually selects five ideas that share a grant of EUR1 million and are supported with a unique one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H&M Conscious Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The five ideas are nominated by an expert jury consisting of Michael Braungart, Rebecca Earley, Eva Kruse, Johan Rockström, Ellis Rubinstein and Amber Valletta. The global public is invited to distribute half of the total grant through an online vote. The result of the vote will be announced at a grand award ceremony in Stockholm, February 2016. This is one of the world's biggest challenges for early-stage innovation and the first initiative of its kind in the fashion industry. For further information, please visit www.globalchangeaward.com.

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Contact Information

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