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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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There used to be one or perhaps two, sales per year at your next door fashion store, to clear old stock and make room for new. But now sales are the norm – some brands seem to never sell anything at full price anymore. How come? Why is over production the norm? Can it be solved through new technology? Yes, unspun has shown it’s possible.

Awarded: Early Bird Year: 2017

The innovation in a nutshell

A machine that spins custom-fitted clothes – and then unspins them again.

Let us explain

“There is a huge mismatch in the industry between customers’ frustration with product offering and retailers’ excess production of goods, and on the other hand the potential for this whole new way of manufacturing one-by-one, from the ground up and on-demand, called 3D printing,” says Beth Esponette, co-founder of unspun.

Beth, together with Walden Lam and Kevin Martin, realised that the way fashion is designed and produced could be dramatically changed with new technology, and founded unspun. Instead of going in and out of stores and trying on ill-fitting denim jeans, unspun’s innovation scans your body and makes jeans based on your exact size. There will be no excess stock, almost no waste and you’ll receive a pair of jeans you’ll feel good in.

To increase their impact on the fashion industry, unspun realised they needed to team up with others. In 2016 they applied for Global Change Award and won the Early Bird, which gave them the chance to join the other winners on a study trip to Milan as well as being part of the GCA Alumni network.

Since winning the award

In November 2017, unspun made their first fully customised denim jeans based on 3D body scans. They recently raised more funds which will help them move to the next level over the coming year. Although a challenge has been to compete with big tech companies in California to find talented people to join their mission, the unspun team is growing rapidly and there are now unspun retail stores in Hong Kong and San Francisco.

“There are so many things on the horizon for unspun,” says Beth. A few highlights are upgrades to the denim unspun retail store in San Francisco, popup events in Hong Kong and San Francisco, and continued development of an exciting collaboration with an acclaimed retailer. “We are always experimenting with new ways to bring our tech to consumers and look forward to new scanning methods and visualization tools later this year,” says Beth.


Team members: Beth Esponette, Kevin Martin and Walden Lam.
Country: USA
Company: Unspun

“The Global Change Award and the H&M Foundation have been instrumental in our development. The Foundation has connected us to forward-thinking luxury brands, apparel retailers, e-commerce companies, funding sources, manufacturers and supply chain players along the circular apparel ecosystem.”
Walden Lam