The Nobel Prize of Fashion Brings Groundbreaking Ideas to the Industry

With the increasing apparel and shoe consumption across the globe, the fashion industry continues to move towards sustainability. Numerous brands find ways to reuse and recycle resources. It lessens the impact of fashion on the environment and our living conditions. This year, The Global Change Award 2020 once again opened to find a new generation of innovators. The competition encourages creatives, scientists, and entrepreneurs to bring new ideas on turning fashion sustainable. Named as the “Nobel Prize for fashion,” the GCA 2020 will certainly witness new groundbreaking creations that will change the industry.

The projects of the winners at GCA 2018.
Displays of the projects at GCA 2019.

Making fashion sustainable

The global competition began from a collaboration of H&M Foundation with Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. With over 14,000 entries from 182 countries, the challenge has been a point of interest and inspiration to minimize the impact of fashion on the planet.

LEFT: Clothes that Grow. RIGHT: Fungi Fashion.

For the past years, the Global Change Award acknowledged different spectacular innovations. Among this year’s winners are “Clothes that Grow” from Petit Pli of the United Kingdom. The team found a solution to the quick growth of a child. This pushes parents to constantly purchase clothes in varying sizes. Petit Pli used space engineering and folding techniques to create garments that grow with the child. The clothes are rainproof and windproof, which expand as the child matures.

A winner from last year’s GCA, MycoTEX and NEFFA from Netherland invented “Fungi Fashion.” Aniela Hoitink used mushroom roots to create custom-made clothes that can decompose. With 3D technology, the company produced garments from the new natural fiber without sewing or cutting it. Another spectacular invention from 2017 is “Grape Leather.” Vegea from Italy provided an alternative to animal leather through grape skins, stalks, and seeds. The result is 100% vegetal leather. Handbags, dresses, and shoes made of grape leather came to life, earning Vegea a high recognition for “one of the best European start-ups of the new millennium.”

GCA 2019 winners: Lab Leather, 100% biodegradable that can mimic any desired leather, and The Loop Scoop, a circular model that uses and reuses materials and resources.
GCA 2019 ceremony.

A new generation of innovators

The past years witnessed the creation of materials, techniques, and systems that are making waves in the fashion industry. This year, the Global Change Award once again seeks for new innovations. The three themes are putting the consumer at the center, connecting the chains in fashion through digital ideas, and having a circular mindset for design. The fifth year of the challenge will select five winners with a million euro grant. The winners will also undergo the Innovation Accelerator Program to bring their ideas to greater heights. This competition may seem tough but it is certainly an inspirational challenge to bring change in the fashion industry.

October 16, 2019, is the deadline for submissions. GCA will award five winners in Stockholm City Hall on April 2020.

To apply, visit

Photos from H&M Group and Global Change Award.

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