H&M is offering one whole million dollars – that is, if you pitch the best, the most innovative idea on how to recycle textile and create zero waste.
The Swedish H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) is offering you a challenge – present them with a revolutionary, "green, truly groundbreaking idea" and they will present you with a million-dollar check. Protecting natural resources and going environmentally friendly (friendlier) appears to have been taken dead seriously by the world's second-biggest fashion retailer.
H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson told Reuters: "No company, 'fast fashion' or not, can continue exactly like today. The [prize's] largest potential lies with finding new technology that means we can recycle the fibers with unchanged quality."
According to Johan Rockstrom, one of the H&M prize jury members and an environmental science professor at Stockholm University, "the fashion industry needed to find business models to respond to global resource shortages."
The jury members will choose five winners every year, who will be sent (next to sharing that million) to the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to join a one-year training and coaching program. The winners will get all the support and knowledge to further develop their winning ideas and to, eventually, make them a reality.
In some of H&M stores they are already following the footsteps into the green future. At the check-out you can leave your clothes – for every bag of clothes you bring, they offer you a 15% discount on your future purchase in one of their stores. Read more about it here.
Striving to achieve 'zero waste' production – with no waste materials and a small environmental footprint – is the right step towards a green future at H&M. Better late than never, some would say. We hope other influential fashion brands will follow H&M's example – some of them already are.