H&M Global Change Award: Protecting the planet by closing the fashion loop




Creating fashion for the world’s growing population while reducing our environmental impact is what the Global Change Award is all about – and it is Torstensson Art & Design who designed and manufactured the winning statuette.


The Global Change Award, an initiative of the H&M Conscious Foundation, is an annual innovation competition open to all. The aim is to find ideas that can help close the cycle for textiles (and thus fashion).

“The response to the first Global Change Award has been overwhelming. More than 2 700 innovators from 112 countries shared their ideas about how to close the loop for fashion,” says Karl-Johan Persson, Board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation and CEO of H&M.

An expert jury selected the five winners of the first-ever Global Change Award. The highly innovative ideas ranged from creating new textiles out of citrus juice by-products to using microbes to recycle waste polyester.



  • The Polyester Digester: Recycling waste polyester with microbes

Polyester is the world’s most common fibre, yet because it is often mixed with other fibres it is difficult to recycle effectively. This innovation develops a new type of microbe that eats waste polyester, creating useful ingredients that can then be used to produce new polyester without reducing quality.


  • Growing textile fibre underwater: Renewable textiles from algae

Algae are being used to create a new type of raw material to produce renewable textiles. Algae is a renewable resource, and because it can be picked from coastal regions around the globe it also reduces the need for transportation.


  • Making waste-cotton new: converting waste-cotton into new textile

This developing technology uses an environmentally friendly solvent to desolve cotton in textile waste, then spins new cotton-like textile fibres and creates new textiles, reducing landfill waste and saving natural resources.


  • Online market for textile leftovers: a marketplace

The developing software for an global online marketplace gathers real-time data on waste inventory from manufacturers. It then connects manufacturers with designers to get textile leftovers into production and the design process.


  • 100% Citrus: Creating new textiles from citrus juice production by-products

By-products left behind from extracting citrus juice present an opportunity to produce a new type of sustainable textile. The yarn produced can be used to create different types of textiles, while addressing the demand for high quality.




The creation of Jonas Torstensson of Torstenssons Art & Design, the award is crafted from recycled environmental crystal glass and manufactured with renewable electricity as an energy source. The entire process is therefore part of the circular economy.


“We are actually the only ones who could meet all of H&M’s demands on the material,” says Jonas Torstensson. “In addition, we are careful to allow circular thinking to permeate all of our work. We want everything to be as climate-smart as possible.”


Erik Bang, Project Manager H&M Global Change Award, says H&M is extremely pleased with the results.


“In Torstensson we saw clear and strong designs that perfectly integrated the circular theme. It was an ideal match to the message carried by the competition. That the award was also a wonderful example of simple and clean Scandinavian design made it even more appreciated.”


Circular Design

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