PARIS — The H&M Conscious Foundation is stepping up its environmental plans.
The nonprofit global foundation backed by the Persson family, founders of the Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, is launching the Global Change Award, a competition aimed at generating green ideas to protect earth’s natural resources. The company bills it as “the first such initiative in the fashion industry.”
The award is valued at one million euros, or $1.1 million at current exchange, and is to be shared by five winners chosen by an expert jury that includes Eva Kruse, chief executive officer of the Danish Fashion Institute and the Copenhagen Fashion Week; Ellis Rubinstein, president and ceo of The New York Academy of Sciences; editor in chief of Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani; and model and actress Amber Valletta.
“The Global Change Award takes on one of the biggest challenges facing today’s fashion industry — to create fashion for a growing population while reducing its impact on the environment. Neither the foundation nor the company, H&M, will take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations,” the company said.
“Groundbreaking, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, so the challenge is open to anyone. Each year the Global Change Award aims to find the truly brave and bold ideas that make change. I’m also eager to see how the fashion industry as a whole will embrace the challenge of closing the loop,” said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation and ceo of H&M.
The deadline for applications is Oct. 31.
Once the jury has determined the five winners, who will be granted an initial amount of 100,000 euros, or $114,932, each as well as the support of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to put their ideas into practice, the public will be invited to vote on the projects and the distribution of the grant’s remaining half.
The result of the vote is to be unveiled in February 2016.