Have an “aha” concept that will revolutionize the fashion industry? H&M is willing to pay you big bucks for it. The Swedish retailer has opened applications for a second round of its “Global Change Award,” a grant-endowment initiative that fielded more than 2,700 submissions from 112 countries in its inaugural run in 2015. The €1 million ($1.1. million) prize money was split among five winning innovations, including clothing made of citrus-juice byproducts, polyester-digesting microbes, and an online marketplace for textile surplus. This year’s judging panel includes Lewis Perkins of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Rebecca Earley of University of the Arts London, Franca Sozzani from Italian Vogue, and supermodel-entrepreneur Amber Valletta, as well as retired sportswoman Ellen MacArthur, whose eponymous foundation works to foster a “circular economy” that produces neither waste nor pollution.
DESIGN FOR CHANGE
“After seeing so many fantastic innovations from around the world with the potential to transform the fashion industry, we have been very eager to open up the next round of the Global Change Award,” Karl-Johan, CEO of H&M and a board member of the company’s nonprofit Conscious Foundation, said in a statement. “I am also honored to welcome some new members to the expert panel like Dame Ellen MacArthur, who besides making solo sailor history in 2005, has immense knowledge about the transition to a circular economy.”
To enter, simply apply at www.globalchangeaward.com from now through October 31. After the jury makes its selections in March, the chosen ideas will be put to a public vote to determine the exact disbursement of funds.
All winners gain admittance to a one-year innovation accelerator-cum-boot-camp, where experts from Accenture, a strategy consultancy, and Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology will help them bring their ideas to market.
“By bringing together innovators to develop positive solutions, the Global Change Award is a great example of the approach needed to create change, and help shift the fashion industry towards a restorative and regenerative circular economy,” MacArthur said. “I am excited to join the expert panel to help find the next five innovations that can be truly game-changing.”