London - The Finnish team behind making waste-cotton new has received the most votes in H&M’s first Global Change Awards. The conversion of waste-cotton into new textiles will receive the highest grant of 300,000 euros after receiving 31 percent of the online vote.
“This prestigious grant will allow us to lift our technology closer to an industrially viable level,” explains Michael Hummel, spokesperson for the Finnish team behind Making waste-cotton new. “Now we will focus on the further development of technical details, in particular, the solvent recovery to ensure economic competitiveness and complete environmental friendliness of our process.”
The Swedish fashion retailer received more than 22,500 online votes to award the 1 million euro grant between the five winners it had selected earlier this month. Taking a 250,000 euro grant in second place with 22 percent of the vote was the polyester digester, a US project that is using microbes to recycle waste polyester textile.
The final three projects: an online market for textile leftovers for industrial up-cycling of spill in production from Estonia; 100 percent citrus, a new textile cut out of citrus juice production by-products from Italy; and a growing textile fibre innovation from the Netherlands that utilises algae to make renewable textile, will all receive 150,000 euro grant each to help further develop their innovations.
H&M splits 1 million euro Global Change grant after online vote
Commenting on the awards, H&M Conscious Foundation board member and chief executive officer of H&M, Karl-Johan Persson, said: “When the application period closed, we sat with thousands of amazing ideas. So we decided to create the Global Change Award Network. You can look at it as a matchmaking site, where innovators can present their ideas, get feedback, make contacts and maybe investors can even find the next big thing. A digital greenhouse for innovative ideas.”
H&M received more than 2,700 innovative proposals from 112 countries as part of its Global Change project to help close the loop for fashion. The five winners will all take part in H&M’s ‘The Innovation Accelerator’ year-long scheme provided by H&M Conscious Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. The program will help the winners develop their ideas, focusing on three main areas; circular economy, innovation and fashion industry connection.
“The level of innovation that we have seen throughout this process is truly inspiring and we aim to advance the strategic business growth of the five Global Change Award winners by guiding and coaching them through the Innovation Accelerator to develop their ideas further,” said Jennie Perzon strategy program lead at Accenture.
Images: H&M Global Change awards