The closing loop

04.02.2016 H&M : Global Change Award : Closed-loop Retail
Polyester Digester, Finalist of H&M Global Change Award, Sweden

Sweden – H&M has announced the five finalists of its Global Change Award after launching an open competition in 2015 to discover the future of closed-loop retail.

  • A jury has selected five finalists from more than 2,700 innovators representing 112 countries, all vying for a share of €1m worth of investment
  • The public are now being invited to vote for their favourite project online, and the winner will be announced on 10 February

After whittling 2,700 entrants down to five finalists, the public is being asked to choose the overall winner and the recipient of £227,350 ($331,495, €300,000) of investment, sponsored by H&M. The remainder of the £757,567 ($1.1m, €1m) prize money will be divided among the other four. Finalists include the polyster digester, which uses genetically engineered microbes to convert polyester into a new material, and 100 percent citrus, which uses natural by-products of citrus juice production to create a new textile.

The other finalists are growing textile fibre under water from algae, dissolving textile waste to create a new material, and an online market for textile leftovers for industrial-scale upcycling.

Whichever idea wins the big prize money, all five finalists will be invited to spend a year working with a tailor-made accelerator to see which has a chance of influencing the future of fast fashion.

The Big Picture

Building sustainability into your business is now a necessity to avoid ending up in landfill. From Biosynthetics 2.0 to Natural Capitalism, our Whole-system Thinking macrotrend charts the weird and wonderful approaches to dealing with resource scarcity.

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