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These innovations can change the future of fashion

From grape leather and manure-based fabric to solar textiles, content thread and denim-dyed denim. Vote in the Global Change Award and you can help re-invent the whole industry.

In a not too distant future your shirt can be made of cow manure, your shoes of grape leather, and the colour on your jeans could come from the colour of an older pair. And instead of oil, our nylon clothes could be produced with solar energy, and the garments you choose to recycle could be sown with one digital thread that reveals their “ingredient list”, making sure that every last string can be re-used.

For the second year in a row, an expert panel (handpicked by non-profit H&M Foundation) has selected the top five innovations from a pool of nearly 2,900, to split a one million euro grant. However, it’s not going to be an equal split, which is why the foundation wants your help to decide which innovations get the most of it.

“In this second round of Global Change Award, we received 2,885 innovative ideas from 130 countries, which is even more than last year. Cross-border challenges call for a cross-border approach. I am convinced that by bringing people from different industries, with different backgrounds and perspectives together, we can make a fundamental shift in the fashion industry to protect both the people and the planet,” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and CEO of the H&M group.

Keep swiping (or scrolling) to find out more about the winning innovations, and head to to vote for your favourite. 

…to haute couture! By extracting and using the valuable cellulose in cow manure, this innovation could make it possible to create a biodegradable textile from, well, bull shit.

Recycled denim is already a great asset to the fashion industry. This innovation finds even more use for the fabric. By breaking down old denim into fine particles, it could be used as a colouring powder to dye new denim, or to make prints on other textiles.

Instead of using oil, this innovation suggests that we use solar power, plant waste and water to create decomposable nylon. And if this isn’t enough, the nylon also binds greenhouse gases into the material, contributing to a zero-emissions world.

Weaving a tiny RFID thread with a digitalised “ingredients list” into the garment, the recycling process will become much more efficient and less will go to waste, as it’s suddenly clear what materials the garment consists of.

Using leftovers from wine production to produce fine vegetal leather is good news for animal welfare and eliminates the need for oil to make synthetic leather. The fact that the grape skins and stalks are used for something good, instead of combustion, is an extra plus.


The online vote is open from 27 March to 2 April. The Global Change Award Ceremony takes place in Stockholm on 5 April, where the allocation of the 1,000,000 euros will be made public. Read more and vote here.



• The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Its mission is to drive long-lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas.

• Since 2013, the Stefan Persson family has donated 1.1 billion Swedish krona (USD 154 million/EUR 123 million) to the Foundation.

• The first Global Change Award was launched in August 2015 and is an innovation challenge in the fashion industry. This is one of the world’s biggest challenges for early stage innovation and the first such initiative in the fashion industry.

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