On Wednesday 10 February, The Crown Princess presented prizes to the winners of the Global Change Award during a ceremony at Stockholm City Hall. The innovation competition was initiated by the H&M Conscious Foundation, with the aim of finding ideas that can help close the loop for textiles.
The five winners share a grant of 1 million euro, and were selected by an international jury of experts consisting of Michael Braungart, Rebecca Earley, Ma Jun, Eva Kruse, Johan Rockström, Ellis Rubinstein, Franca Sozzani and Amber Valletta. The public were then invited to allocate the grant between the ideas via online voting, held between 1 and 7 February.
This year's winners were:
Making waste-cotton new – conversion of waste-cotton into new textile. Innovator: Michael Hummel, Finland
The polyester digester – using microbes to recycle waste polyester textile. Innovator: Akshay Sethi, USA
An online market for textile leftovers – a marketplace for industrial upcycling of spill in production Innovator: Ann Runnel, Estonia
100 percent citrus – creating new textile out of citrus juice production by-products. Innovator: Enrica Arena, Italy
Growing textile fibre under water – utilising algae to make renewable textile. Innovator: Tjeerd Veenhoven, the Netherlands
For the winners, the ceremony marks the beginning of a one-year innovation accelerator arranged by the H&M Conscious Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The programme will help the winners to develop their ideas with a focus on three key areas: circular economy, innovation and fashion industry connection.