H&M Wants Your Game-Changing Ideas — & There's $1M Up For Grabs

Photo: Courtesy of H&M.
The Global Change Award's 2016 expert panel.
H&M is on a quest for ambitious, innovative green ideas that could change the fashion biz. The Swedish retailer's non-profit arm, H&M Foundation, started accepting applications today for the second annual Global Change Award. The objective: to source ideas that can help segue the fashion industry into a circular economy that involves little to no waste.

The inaugural Global Change Award in 2015 brought in innovative submissions like clothing made of citrus by-products, microbes that digest waste polyester, and an online marketplace for textile leftovers. Those three concepts, plus two more, beat out 2,700 submissions from 112 countries; the five winners shared a 1 million euro award (roughly $1.2 million).

Applicants can submit concepts for three different categories: business models, materials (i.e. new fibers or recycling techniques), and processes (such as new ways to work with chemicals or dyes, or 3-D printing). This year's panel of judges includes Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani; former model and green fashion advocate Amber Valletta; and Rebecca Earley, a sustainable fashion and textile design professor and researcher, all of whom served as judges last year, along with a handful of new names from beyond the fashion realm.

"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 Persson, H&M's CEO and board member of the H&M Foundation, said in a statement.

In additon to receiving funds to further their game-changing, sustainability-focused concepts, the winners will get to participate in a one-year Innovation Accelerator at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology. If you've got the next brilliant idea for a less-wasteful future in fashion, apply here, now through October 31.

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