GCA 2023: 10 game-changing innovations to know now
The fashion industry is adopting innovative solutions at unprecedented speed. Still, the pace of change isn’t fast enough. In an era where science fiction is as much reality as a film genre, AI is mainstream, and technology is wearable, the textile industry craves solutions that eliminate waste, benefit the planet’s shared resources, and deliver circular effects.
This is where The Global Change Award comes into play. The innovation challenge, launched by the H&M Foundation back in 2015, exists to find and support the most impactful solutions to scale at speed — and enable every brand, manufacturer and industry stakeholder to embrace change.
Doubling the winners, doubling the grant
After months of vetting and screening, a new set of disruptive winners have been selected by an independent expert panel. And this year, the number of winners, and the size of the grant, is doubled.
”We have an urgent opportunity to support innovations that could transform the entire fashion industry — that’s why we’re doubling the grant and the number of winners. We’re giving these innovators a total of 2 million euros and access to our accelerator program — but we’re also giving the industry an opportunity to connect with these brilliant innovators. I’m excited to see the impact these innovators will make on the industry,” says Karl-Johan Persson, H&M Foundation board member.
These are the ten winners of the Global Change Award 2023:
Biobased foams, adhesives and coatings crafted from natural sources.
ALT TEX (Canada)
From waste to wardrobe: transforming food waste into biodegradable polyester.
KBCols Sciences (India)
Bio-fermenting textile dyes with the magic of microorganisms.
Powerful high-performance fibre fuelled by graphene.
Oceans of opportunity: making seaweed fibres that spur social innovation.
Rethread Africa (Kenya)
Regenerating agricultural waste into bio-based synthetics.
Renewed colours: extracting and transferring dyes from old to new fabrics.
Adding lightspeed and laser precision to textile sorting with AI and spectroscopy.
Enabling circular solutions for hard-to-recycle waste textiles.
AI-powered platform turning design concepts into zero-waste patterns.
Joining a network of impactors
Now, these ten breakthrough solutions will enter into the year-long GCA Impact Accelerator, where the H&M Foundation and its core partners KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Accenture and The Mills Fabrica tailor workshops, organise meet-ups at key locations, and introduce each team to industry leaders with the resources to bring each innovation from lab to launch.
Together with over thirty previous winners, these new innovations will join the GCA Alumni — a global network for collaboration and knowledge sharing, where innovators can partner up to fast-track their journeys towards commercial success.
”There’s a wide range of solutions among this year’s winners. If scaled, I believe they could have a real impact on the industry – which needs a holistic transformation if we are to reach a planet positive fashion future. We look forward to working with the winners during the accelerator and help enable their innovations to accelerate and scale,” says Christiane Dolva, Strategy Lead H&M Foundation.