Aug 29, 2018
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H&M seeks ideas to reinvent fashion and reduce waste in latest award project

Aug 29, 2018

H&M is looking for ideas to “reinvent the entire fashion industry” with a special focus on digital innovation as it launches the fourth annual round of its innovation challenge, Global Change Award, at globalchangeaward.com.

More fashion sales mean more landfill waste and H&M's award is trying to change this

The H&M Foundation is putting €1 million and a coaching program on the table for the competition that it said has been dubbed “the Nobel Prize of fashion”.

The competition has had more than 8,000 entries from 151 countries since 2015 for those who come up with solutions “to spark the shift towards a circular fashion industry, protecting the planet and our living conditions.” It provides “powerful funding and year-long coaching” to its winners.

For this year it said that there’s “an extra eye on ideas within digitalisation” with the applications period open until October 17.

The award was originally launched (in collaboration with Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) to speed up the shift from the standard linear model where clothes often end up in the landfill, to a circular model where materials can be reused or recycled.

“New ideas are the foundation for change, but scaling them is an enormous challenge for every innovator,” said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson. “Together with our partners, we’ve seen previous winners cut years off their timeline through our accelerator program. Now, we are eager to welcome five new circular heroes and encourage everyone who wants to reinvent one of the world’s largest industries to apply.”

It's trying to encourage applications from as many different companies as possible, although at present, the top five countries with the highest number of entries since 2015 are India, the US, Italy, Nigeria and the UK.

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