Sustainability has been the topic du jour for some time now, but let’s face it: how many of us are actually playing an active role in practicing sustainability, or taking the initiative to learn more about it? With more and more fast fashion brands around, the industry desperately needs to improve its social and environmental impact, and us, as consumers, should adopt ethical decisions for a more sustainable consumption. As the world population is nearing 8 billion, it’s now or never.
Cue the Global Change Award—first launched in 2011, the initiative is created by the non-profit H&M Foundation, and its aim? To speed up the process of finding, supporting and scaling up disruptive innovations that can make the entire fashion industry circular. In simpler words, they are searching for the game-changers of tomorrow. To assist these innovations, the foundation has pledged one million Euros and will provide a one-year mentorship—in partnership with consultancy firm Accenture and Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology—for the winners of the program, alongside a new initiative via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, where the public can financially contribute to the technologies. The 6,640 entries (from almost every country in the world) have the same goal in mind—to protect the planet and our quality of life, and ultimately, five winners with the best innovations were selected.
“The Global Change Award’s support to material and systems innovators not only helps to accelerate the success of each individual awardee but also impacts the progress of the global fashion industry.” — Steven Kolb, President and CEO of CFDA
Meet the five winners that are changing the future of fashion:
The Loop Scoop by circular.fashion
The winner this year is from Germany, and was given a prize of 300,000 Euros to fund their tech. It’s a digital system that states how different material, cut and production affects the planet. By scanning and saving the digital ID, users can learn how to handle, reuse, update and recycle a particular piece of clothing.
Sane Membrane by dimpora
The second place hails from Switzerland, and it’s a biodegradable and mineral-based membrane that can added onto outdoor wear. Did you know that clothing that are made for harsh weather releases non-biodegradable toxins and micro-plastics into the world? Although they received 250,000 Euros from Global Change Award, dimpora has managed to raise the most funds out of all five winners on Indiegogo, with 10,488 Euros collected so far.
Clothes That Grow by Petit Pli
Will you believe us if we said that a UK-based company has created clothes that will expand and grow with the child? As children grow seven sizes in their first two years, this will no doubt be great in reducing environmental impact. Inspired by space engineering and origami, the clothing can fit the child for years. The best part? It’s windproof and waterproof.
Lab Leather by Le Qara
Vegan leather has been around for a while now, but a Peruvian brand is taking it one step further. With the help of microorganisms (from flowers and fruits), the material created can copy any texture, colour and toughness seamlessly, and it’s 100% biodegradable.
Sustainable Sting by Green Nettle Textile
The Kenyan company doesn’t only aim to improve the sustainability in the industry with its Sustainable Sting tech, they’re also boosting the economy of the country-job opportunities for 200,000 farmers, to be exact. Using stinging nettles—a low-maintenance plant that grows easily in the region—the stalks can be turned into a linen-like material, and the leaves can be made into paper and dyes.
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