A laundry solution that prolongs garments’ life, AI helping small cotton farmers to increase yield and income, an invention realizing the circular recycling of elastane and polyester blends, carbon-negative viscose made from CO2 emissions, and regenerative agriculture making planet positive alternative to goose down – these are the five Global Change Award winners 2022, sharing a €1 million grant from the non-profit H&M Foundation.
The H&M Foundation launched the Global Change Award in 2015 to transform fashion and make it planet positive, in order for the industry to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. That means finding and supporting disruptive innovations that address one or several of the earth’s global commons – land, water, oceans, climate, and biodiversity. As the aim is to find innovations that allow major change for the entire industry the winners are free to collaborate with any actor they want.
“The winners of the Global Change Award hold the key to the complex challenges we are facing and prove that it’s possible to reinvent fashion. Their game-changing innovations are really inspiring and can help transform the fashion industry into a planet positive one,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and Chairman of H&M Group.
The response from applicants was overwhelming and made it clear that there is no shortage of disruptive innovations out there. The momentum to transform the fashion industry into a planet positive one, to protect our planet and improve people’s living conditions has never been stronger. This year’s winners are:
- BioPuff® by saltyco (UK) – A planet positive alternative to goose down, crafted from plants that heal damaged land.
- BIORESTORE (Sweden) – A laundry solution that restores old and worn garments to mint condition.
- CottonAce by Wadhwani AI (India) – An AI solution that reduces pesticide use, increases yield and raises incomes for smallholder cotton farmers.
- Re:lastane (China) – The first mild process making elastane and polyester blend fabrics recyclable.
- Rubi (US) – Planet positive viscose and lyocell made from carbon emissions.
In addition to the financial grant, all five winners also get access to the one-year GCA Impact Accelerator program provided by H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and The Mills, offering the winners invaluable coaching and support, along with a strong network and memories for life. The GCA Impact Accelerator aims to help the winning ideas scale at speed through business, technology, investor and innovation readiness, and industry access. It also offers winners a mix of inspiring digital sessions and meetups at key locations.