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Brief Published: 30 Mar 2017

H&M Foundation Awards Five Textile Innovators

Initiated by global non-profit organisation H&M Foundation in 2015, the annual Global Change Award supports young technical innovators in the fashion industry. This year’s five winners specialise in various aspects of material innovation, reinventing the way recycled natural materials are implemented into garment production.

The winners were chosen by a jury of eight fashion and science experts, and the public can vote online until April 2 to decide how the €1m ($1.07m) grant will be distributed between them. Here’s a round-up of the projects:

  • Grape Leather: An exploration into the production of grape leather using winemaking byproducts. Without using harmful chemicals, the process strides towards reducing chemical and energy consumption in synthetic leather production.
  • Content Thread: An investigation into the concept of creating garment DNA by implementing RFID (radio frequency identification) threads into textiles. The digital yarns would feel like conventional ones but would provide recyclers with essential information about the fabric’s ‘ingredients’. 
  • Denim-Dyed Denim: Continuing the momentum of exploring alternative dyeing techniques (as outlined in Considered Colour), this pitch considers the creation of recycled colouring powder from used denim to dye new denim. 
  • Solar Textiles: This project presents a new concept for producing nylon, using only water, plant waste and solar energy. 
  • Manure Couture: The study explores manure waste as a niche production source. The cellulose contained in cow manure could be extracted and turned into biodegradable fibres.

Nurturing creative ethical consciousness has become a major focus in fashion – Selfridges’ latest Material World sustainability campaign raises this discussion. Take a look at Home Ground: Materials for more.