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Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by H&M Foundation, aiming to make fashion circular.
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Incredible Cotton

Growing high-quality cotton in a lab instead of on big farms, using less water and no land. The process emits far less greenhouse gas than traditional cotton. And it’s fast, as much as ten times faster than conventional cotton.

Awarded: €300,000 Year: 2020 Company: GALY

The innovation in a nutshell

Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.

Let us explain

You may rarely think about it, but a lot of resources have gone into the making of your favourite cotton t-shirt. And we mean a lot. Conventional cotton production requires massive amounts of water, land and a hefty cocktail containing thousands of chemicals. It also results in considerable greenhouse gas emissions. It makes you wish there was a smarter way to make cotton.

And luckily, there is! By producing cotton from cells – not plants – in a lab instead of on huge farms, this innovation makes it possible to grow the same cotton everybody loves, but in a different way. The lab-grown cotton can be grown anywhere, without being dependent on soil and weather conditions, and without exhausting our planet. The method is ten times faster, and uses less than 80% water and land while emitting only a fraction of the greenhouse gas compared to traditional cotton. The price would be the same as for the high-quality cotton on the market today.

Does this story sound fluffy to you? Yes, it’s the kind of cotton soft fluff not only dreams are made of, but also a greater, more sustainable future for everyone.

Team members: Luciano Bueno, Paula Elbl and Letícia Luz
Country: Brazil, based in the US
Company: GALY

“Winning the Global Change Award, it’s simply mind blowing, it validates the recognition and belief in our vision as a company and open new doors for partnerships, technology and call to action for the entire industry. We are going to work hard to make our vision come true and we believe this award is one of the most important steps for this accomplishment.”
Luciano Bueno, Founder and CEO GALY