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Nettle fibre producer and lab-made leather maker pick up top award for helping to make fashion sustainable.

“They are a true inspiration and great partners to any fashion company that wants to contribute to protecting the planet and our living conditions.”

Fibres made of nettles, lab-made vegan leather, a digital system to make products recyclable from scratch, and a biodegradable toxic-free membrane for outdoor wear were just some of the big winners at the 2019 Global Change Award. The firms shared a €1m grant provided by award organiser H&M Foundation – a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of fashion company H&M Group.

“The winners of the Global Change Award prove that it’s possible to improve the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” said Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and CEO of H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

Persson added: “They are a true inspiration and great partners to any fashion company that wants to contribute to protecting the planet and our living conditions. The initiative with Indiegogo (US-based crowdfunding initiative) adds an important piece as it also enables the public to be at the very heart of finding and funding a future for sustainable style.”

Kenya-based Green Nettle Textile was one of the five winners of the 2019 Global Change Award and was given a grant of €150,000 by H&M Foundation for its ‘Sustainable Sting’ project. The company grows nettles to create a sustainable linen-fabric and opportunities for farmers in Kenya to boost their livelihoods.

Peru-based Le Qara was also given a grant of €150,000 for its production of vegan biodegradable leather for the fashion industry. It uses microorganisms to produce the leather. According to the company, the residues from its production process can be used as a liquid compost, “making it a process that generates no waste”.

Switzerland-based Dimpora was also one of the five winners and won €250,000 for its ‘Sane Membrane’ product – a biodegradable and mineral-based membrane for outdoor wear. Its product can be added to outdoor wear to help shield clothes against wind and rain in a “sustainable way”, according to H&M Foundation.

Germany-headquartered Circular Fashion won €300,000 for its digital system, which aims to close the loop on every garment from design to wear to recycling.

UK-based Petit Pli won €150,000 for its clothes that “expand with the child, while reducing environmental impact”.

You may also be interested in reading…

Read: New ‘sustainable’ yarn developed in Sweden.

Read: PrimaLoft claims polyester circular economy breakthrough

Read:‘One-of-a-kind peacock-inspired’ bio-based dress to be showcased at international clothing exhibition.

Read: Stora Enso to support H&M-IKEA-backed sustainability initiative.

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