sustainability, adidas, h&M, ikea

PARIS — Galy, a Brazilian venture based in the U.S. that uses biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton, has been awarded the top prize of the H&M foundation’s Global Change Award and will take home 300,000 euros. 

“The winning innovations will help our industry reinvent itself and hopefully inspire others to also find new solutions,” Karl-Johan Persson, board member of the foundation, said in a statement.

Winning the 250,000-euro prize was Werewool, also based in the U.S., specializing in making stretchy and natural colored fabrics from protein DNA. 

Prizes of 150,000 euros were handed to India-based TextileGenesis, U.S.-based SeaChange Technologies and France-based Fairbrics. 

TextileGenesis is developing methods to track sustainable fibers through blockchain technology. SeaChange Technologies is working to separating and clean wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills, and Fairbrics is seeking to convert greenhouse gases into polyester. 

The grants come to 1 million euros and winners join a year-long accelerator program run by Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

In a statement, Galy chief executive officer Luciano Bueno said winning the prize should help open new doors for partnerships, technology and serve as a call to action for the entire industry.

The H&M foundation award was established in 2015.

“We need to leave the old, linear ways of thinking behind, and move faster toward a planet-positive and sustainable model,” Persson said.