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5 Sustainable Fashion Industry Innovations Awarded $1 Million by H&M Foundation – Environment + Energy Leader

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The five winning entries of the 2020 Global Change Award include innovations from lab-grown cotton and creating fabrics from protein DNA, to tracking sustainable fibers by using blockchain technology, wastewater separation and converting carbon dioxide into sustainable polyester.

Global Change Award is the non-profit H&M Foundation’s fifth annual innovation challenge. The goal is to identify early stage, disruptive ideas that can make fashion more sustainable, and to scale them to transform the entire fashion industry.

This year, the Global Change Award Expert Panel selected five winning innovations out of 5,893 entries from 175 countries. The Global Change Award winners 2020 are:

  • $328,000 – Incredible Cotton by GALY (US/Brazil). Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.
  • $273,000 – Feature Fibres by Werewool (US). Creating fabrics from protein DNA with natural colours, stretch and other features.
  • $164,000 – Tracing Threads by TextileGenesis (India). Tracking sustainable fibers through transparent and reliable blockchain technology.
  • $164,000 – Zero Sludge by SeaChange Technologies (US). Separating and cleaning wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills.
  • $164,000 – Airwear by Fairbrics (France). Converting greenhouse gas into sustainable polyester.

In addition to the $1 million grant, H&M Foundation enrolls the winners in a one-year Innovation Accelerator Program. The program, run in cooperation with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, is designed to connect the winners with the fashion industry and speed up the process of bringing their innovations to the market.

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