H&M launches 2019 Global Change Award

Fast fashion giant H&M is once again on the hunt for innovators looking to make the clothing industry more sustainable.

H&M Foundation Global Change Award 2019 - H&M Foundation

The Swedish retailer's non-profit H&M Foundation has launched the fourth annual edition of its Global Change Award, which challenges trailblazers to submit ideas geared towards the creation of a circular fashion industry. For 2019, it will be focusing on digital innovations in particular.

The award, which offers coaching and €1 million in funding to its winning inventors, has attracted more than 8,000 entries from 151 different countries since it was launched in 2015, in partnership with Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Last year, the prize money was divided among the five finalists via a public vote, with the largest portion of the funds being allocated to "Crop-A-Porter," a concept designed to turn the harvest remains of crops such as hemp and bananas and turn it into useful bio-fiber for making textiles.

"New ideas are the foundation for change, but scaling them is an enormous challenge for every innovator," said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, in a statement.

"Together with our partners Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, we've seen previous winners cut years off their timeline through our accelerator program."

"This year we keep an extra eye on digital innovations which can make significant impact on efficiency, planning and resource use -- all the way from making raw material to a garment's end of life," added Erik Bang, Innovation Lead, H&M Foundation.

The application process will remain open through October 17, with the winners announced in April 2019.

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