Hong Kong Sweden United States of America
Do you have an idea that can make fashion circular? H&M Foundation is looking for bright minds of fashion, tech, and innovation, to find the projects that will change everything. Send your innovative idea to win H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award!Winners will share a grant of 1 million euro and embark on a tailor-made Innovation Accelerator Program.
Five winners are selected by an international expert panel each year. As a winner, you’ll get to travel to fashion and innovation hubs around the world, take your innovations to the next level and bring to the market quicker. The GCA is looking for early-stage innovations within technologies, connectivity and circular design that can contribute to a sustainable fashion future.
The challenge is initiated to accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, to protect the planet and our living conditions. This means changing the way garments are currently designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled by adding disruptive technology, processes, or new business models. Anyone (almost) can apply for the Global Change Award. Five winners are each year selected by our international expert panel, with extensive knowledge within fashion, sustainability, circularity and innovation. The winners share a 1 million euro grant and get access to a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program provided by the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Neither the H&M Foundation nor H&M Group will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.
The Global Change Award is one of the world’s leading challenges for early stage innovation, and the largest initiative of its kind in the fashion industry. It was initiated to accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry, to protect the planet and our living conditions.
The non-profit H&M Foundation initiated the Global Change Award in 2015, as part of the Foundation’s focus area Planet. The aim is to speed up the process of finding, supporting and scaling up disruptive innovations that can make the entire fashion industry circular.
In a nutshell, we are looking for tomorrow’s game-changers – may it be innovations on digital technologies, how to recover and reuse waste, or ideas supporting a climate positive fashion industry. If the innovation has the potential to make real impact on a large scale, is economically sustainable and if the team behind the innovation is ready to make it happen – it can be a potential winner. And, if the innovation involves an extra layer of social value, we like it even more.
With more than 8,000 applications from 151 countries received since its launch, it has become the go-to challenge for circular innovation, and has been called the Nobel Prize of fashion.
Called the “Nobel Prize of Fashion”, the Global Change Award has since its inception in 2015 backed ideas that can make the entire fashion industry more circular. To reach the Sustainable Development Goals and protect the planetary and social boundaries, we must all reassess what we do and tweak the course if necessary.
As a catalysing non-profit foundation, our role is to be at the forefront, develop and trial solutions that can have a real impact on the fashion industry and beyond, and ultimately safeguarding the planet and our living conditions. Therefore, we are currently looking at how to extend the scope to not only address circularity, but also other critical areas.
This, together with the global effects of the covid-19 pandemic, means we will launch the next round of Global Change Award and open for applications in 2021.
Our 18 winners have shown impressive results far beyond our expectations, and we’ve received proof that the Global Change Award really works as an accelerator for change. Agraloop, winners of 2018 put it like this: “Thanks to the H&M Foundation our work has been greatly accelerated through the support of the Global Change Award, we are happy to say that we are literally 12-18 months ahead of our original development schedule.”
Neither the H&M Foundation nor H&M Group will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.
The innovation accelerator
The Grand Award Ceremony marks the beginning of the Innovation Accelerator Program. The aim of the program is to take the innovations to the next level, bring them to scale and out on the market as quickly as possible, to maximise their impact on the industry.
In addition to the financial grant, the Innovation Accelerator provides the teams with tailor-made support, tools, access and exposure to leverage and develop their innovations in the best and quickest way. Throughout the year, Accenture and KTH coach the teams based on their needs and goals, ranging from business development to communication training and management.
To connect the teams with the industry, boost their exposure and confidence, we take them on three intensive immersion weeks in Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong. Through the H&M Foundation the teams get industry access across the value chain to fully leverage the momentum provided by being named a winner of Global Change Award. The teams also support each other through the Innovation Accelerator, sharing key insights and experiences as they all have the common goal of reinventing the fashion industry.
“The Global Change Award is the first of its kind challenge for early stage innovation in fashion and we are impressed by the level of bold creativity and disruptive innovation shown by the award winners. We are passionate about helping them further develop their inspiring ideas through the Accelerator Program, to support them in driving the change towards a circular fashion industry,” says Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director of Retail at Accenture.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
Who can apply?
Innovation knows no national borders and we believe these early stage ideas can rest in anyone’s head anywhere on the planet, so in an effort to reach as many great minds as possible the challenge is open to any individual and groups of up to 4 people over 18 years of age anywhere in the world. It is also open for institutions, organizations and social business.
Please note that your entry has to be in English and that all communication including the Innovation Accelerator Program will be in English.
What kind of ideas are you looking for?
We want to find tomorrow’s game-changers – innovations that have the potential to shift the fashion industry from its linear approach to a circular one, to protect the planet and our living conditions. This means changing the way garments are currently designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled by adding disruptive technology, processes, or new business models.
This year we keep an extra eye on digital innovations, as they can make significant impact on efficiency, planning and resource use – from producing raw materials to a garment’s end of life. Digitalization has the potential to disrupt at the root and reinvent how things are done. And – if the innovation involves an extra layer of social value – we like it even more.
Examples of innovations suitable for Global Change Award:
- Innovations with digital technologies applied, such as connectivity, robotics, artificial intelligence, data, internet of things, machine learning etc. across the value chain, including consumers and garments to make fashion circular.
- Innovations related to waste, how resources can be recovered and turned into material, products or services – or how waste can be eliminated in the first place.
- Innovations supporting a climate positive fashion industry, for example creating clothes, services and manufacturing processes that are not only neutral but actually good for the environment, helping to restore and regenerate the environment when being used.
The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:
- the Entry’s potential to make fashion circular and thereby protect the planet and lead to improved living conditions for people;
- impact and scalability
- is it economically sustainable
- is it novel
- how well suited is the team to make it happen would winning the grant make a difference.
Deadline: October 20, 2021
Cost/funding for participants:
- Award ceremony: A trip to Stockholm to attend the Grand Award Ceremony in April.
- €1 million grant: A share of the €1 million grant.
- Innovation Accelerator: Tailor-made support including trips to Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong.