Calling environmentally conscious inventors. Clothing giant H&M is putting up €1 million (HK$8.6 million) for an innovation competition aimed at helping the fast-fashion industry become greener.
The Global Change Award, which launched last month, is looking for ideas that will update the way garments are designed, produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled, to make the industry less wasteful and harmful to the environment.
"Ground-breaking, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, so the challenge is open to anyone," says Karl-Johan Persson, 40, chief executive of H&M and board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation, which is funding the project.
The family of Persson, whose grandfather founded H&M, has donated 700 million Swedish krona (HK$642 million) to the fund since 2013.
Five winners will be selected by eight judges, including Johan Rockstrom, professor in environmental science at Stockholm University; Ma Jun, director of China's Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs; and Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia.
The winners will each receive €100,000 and a spot in an accelerator scheme run by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and consulting firm Accenture Strategy.
The deadline for entries is October 31 and winners will be announced on February 10.
Neither H&M nor the foundation will take equity from the winning ideas or own the intellectual property rights. Winners will be encouraged to share their research with the industry. For more information, visit www.globalchangeaward.com.