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Frequently Asked Questions
— About the Global Change Award
What is the Global Change Award?

In 2015, the non-profit H&M Foundation identified a need to accelerate the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry and initiated the Global Change Award to help speed up the transition.

Taking on one of the the biggest challenges in the fashion industry today – creating fashion for a growing population while improving its impact on the environment – it has grown to be one of the world’s leading challenges for early stage innovation, and the largest initiative of its kind in the fashion industry.

Since its inception, we have received over 20,000 entries from more than 200 countries and territories, and we have 25 Global Change Award winners who are making incredible progress in closing the loop in fashion. Many of our winners have already commercialized their ideas and are collaborating with global brands.

Neither the H&M Foundation nor H&M Group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations.

Learn more.

What is the H&M Foundation?

The non-profit H&M Foundation is a lifelong and privately funded commitment from the Stefan Persson family, founders of H&M Group. Through partnerships with experienced organisations around the globe, the H&M Foundation work to accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Learn more at

What are the roles of Accenture and KTH?

Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH) play important roles in the year-long Innovation Accelerator Program. During the year, they provide the winners with the support they need to actualize their ideas and maximize its performance.

KTH Innovation focus on creating insights into where the winners are today, where they want to be at the end of the program and what type of support they will get through the program. The program will also cover practical workshops on how to pitch their idea, IPR protection and innovation development.

Accenture Strategy contributes with a one-year training and coaching program, providing circular economy management, leadership management, international development and retail insights, which aim to support the winners in developing their ideas further.

Learn more.

Who have won Global Change Award previously?

All winners are presented here.

— How to apply
When will Global Change Award open for new applications?

We will launch a new round and open for applications in 2021. To receive updates with the exact date for the launch, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter (sign up here).

What are the rules of Global Change Award?

See the Terms & Conditions, please note the Terms & Conditions will be updated when we launch the new round of Global Change Award in 2021. Some common questions are answered below.

Does it cost to participate?

No, participating is free of charge.

Can I submit multiple entries?

No, only one entry per person is allowed. Learn more in Terms & Conditions.

Can I compete with an idea that I have already participated with in another challenge?

Yes, but remember that you must own all rights connected to the idea.

— Selecting the winners
What do I win?
  • A share a the grant of €1 million to develop your innovation.
  • Access to the one year long tailor-made Innovation Accelerator Program, provided by H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The accelerator includes tailor-made support with team coaching, skills building and networking opportunities.
  • Global recognition and validation.

Learn more.

What is expected from the winners?

We expect you to develop your idea according to the plan submitted with the entry to contribute to making the fashion industry circular. We also expect you to take active part in the one-year Innovation Accelerator Program.

H&M Foundation will require each winner to submit a short report on progress and use of funds after 6 months and after 12 months. See more details in Terms & Conditions.

What is the Early Bird competition?

Anyone who applies within the first half of the application period can become an Early Bird Winner.

The Early Bird winner will be invited to join the five winners of the Global Change Award in one of the trips which is part of their one-year Innovation Accelerator. The trip offers exclusive industry insight as well as opportunities to network and learn more about circularity and the fashion value chain.

Applying as an Early Bird does not affect your chances of winning the Global Change Award.

The Early Bird winner is selected based on the general Global Change Award criteria (Read more below under “What are the criteria?”). See Terms & Conditions for details.

— Ideas & applications
Who can apply?

Innovation knows no national borders and we believe these early stage ideas can rest in anyone’s head anywhere on the planet, so in an effort to reach as many great minds as possible the challenge is open to any individual and groups of up to 4 people over 18 years of age anywhere in the world. It is also open for institutions, organizations and social business.

Please note that your entry must be in English and that all communication including the Innovation Accelerator Program will be in English.

Who can not apply?

Global Change Award is not open for solely commercial entities.

To keep the integrity of the competition, employees of H&M Group or any entities owned in full or in part by H&M Group, H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Innovation including hired consultants can’t apply.

We are looking for new and early stage ideas so you can’t apply with an already proven and existing innovation.

What do you mean by “early stage ideas/innovation?” Why is it a requirement to apply?

It is at this earliest stage where the H&M Foundation can provide the much-needed resources, access and skills and thereby make the biggest difference. We are certain there are a vast number of great ideas out there but access to capital, know-how and support is scarce and many great ideas never get to see the light of day. The H&M Foundation wants to find these ideas and give them the support needed to make a difference.

What kind of ideas are you looking for?

We want to find tomorrow’s game-changers – innovations that have the potential to shift the fashion industry from its linear approach to a circular one, to protect the planet and our living conditions. This means changing the way garments are currently designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled by adding disruptive technology, processes, or new business models. Learn more about circular fashion.

More specific information about what we are looking for in the next round will be updated when we are launching the next Global Change Award in 2021.

On which criteria do you score the entries?

The evaluation of our winners has been based on the following criteria:

  • the Entry’s potential to make fashion circular and thereby protect the planet and lead to improved living conditions for people;
  • impact and scalability
  • is it economically sustainable
  • is it novel
  • how well suited is the team to make it happen
  • would winning the grant make a difference

Check Terms & Conditions for full details.

— The Expert Panel
Who are the members of the Expert Panel for Global Change Award?

The Expert Panel is presented here.

What is the responsibility of the Expert Panel?

Their role is to provide expertise to identify and help select the winners of the Global Change Award. The members of the Expert Panel are chosen for their extensive knowledge in the areas of entrepreneurship, sustainability, innovation and fashion.

Are the panel members getting paid?

No. All members of the Expert Panel are doing this pro bono and are not getting paid.

— Equity and intellectual property right/patents
Will the H&M Foundation take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations?

No and nor will H&M Group.

Why not?

The H&M Foundations role is to provide that critical boost to the innovators at the earliest stages were its most needed. Different innovations need different support and it wouldn’t be wise to limit or force an innovation into a certain partnership. The mission is to support the development of the innovation and to help it stand on its own.

Will H&M take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations?

It’s up to the winners to decide who to partner with. Different innovations need different support and it wouldn’t be wise to limit or force an innovation into a certain partnership. Also, the H&M Foundation initiates this competition to make the entire fashion industry circular – not just H&M Group.

Parts of my application will include sensitive info about my idea, what will happen to that info?

The Terms & Conditions and Privacy Notice explains this in detail but to keep it simple: do not send us critical unprotected details. Instead, focus on the bigger picture in your application. All entrants understand that the H&M Foundation may use any information submitted for the sole purpose of promoting the competition and the participants. And remember, we want you to succeed and we want you to own the IP.

Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by H&M Foundation, aiming to make fashion circular.
Contact us
H&M Foundation
Mäster Samuelsgatan 46A
106 38 Stockholm

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