The award is designed to identify ideas that could shift the fashion industry towards circular and waste-free systems. A panel of experts selects the five most promising innovations and the public then votes. The five shortlisted projects receive a share of the £0.9m ($1.08m, €1m) prize fund and access to an innovation accelerator created in partnership with Accenture.
This year’s innovations include fabric created from cow manure, the use of old denim to colour new jeans, a new form of zero-emission nylon and synthetic leather created from grape skins. Perhaps the most intriguing is Content Thread, an RFID-enabled fibre that can be woven into clothes to provide a digitised ingredients list of a garment’s constituent parts, making it much easier to recycle.
The fashion industry is growing increasingly aware of its need to reduce its environmental impact, as well as about the value consumers place on brands’ efforts to be more ecologically minded. See our Whole-system Thinking macrotrend for more.