H&M Foundation's third Global Change Award seeks solutions for sustainable fashion

The H&M Foundation is putting sustainable fashion in the spotlight once again with the launch of its third Global Change Award.

The non-profit organization is calling for applicants for the third round of the competition, which aims to encourage ‘a circular fashion industry' by investing in innovative solutions to lessen the sector's negative impact on the planet. The five winners will be given a €1 million grant to share between themselves, as well as access to a year-long innovation accelerator program to help turn their dreams into a reality.

"I'm really curious to see what disruptive innovations we will receive this time," said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, in a statement.

"Sustainable and responsible consumption is the way forward," added Professor Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and member of the Expert Panel. "We must find better ways to make what we use, and wisely use what we have. The Global Change Award is an important initiative to drive this forward. By intentionally and thoughtfully reusing, recycling, and repurposing, we can drive significant and radical improvements to our world."

Last year's competition resulted in more than 2,800 applications submitted from 130 countries, and the winning ideas included a leather fabric made from wine-making leftovers and climate-positive nylon made from water, plant waste and solar energy.

The five winners will be selected by an expert panel featuring key fashion industry figures, before the general public decides how to divide the €1 million grant via an online vote.

Retailer H&M has been championing a more sustainable approach to fast fashion for some time now, and has pledged to use only organic cotton across its entire range by the year 2020. This spring, the brand introduced its debut ‘H&M Conscious' collection, made exclusively from sustainable materials, in addition to the various recycling initiatives the retailer has pioneered over the last few years.

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