H&M Foundation grants top Global Change Award prize to 'Grape Leather' invention

The H&M Foundation has awarded the top prize for the second edition of its Global Change Award to the makers of an innovative vegetal leather dubbed "Grape Leather", which is made by using leftovers from winemaking.

The initiative, launched in 2015 by the non-profit arm of Swedish retail giant H&M, aims to reward technology concepts that make the fashion industry more sustainable.

A grant of one million euros, or $1.1 million at current exchange, was split between a total of five winners selected by the foundation following an online vote held from March 27 to April 2, with the ranking of the prizes determined according to the number of votes.

"Grape Leather" scooped the greatest number of public votes and has been announced as the overall winner of the competition, with Italy's Rossella Longobardo — who led the team behind the invention — awarded the top prize of 300,000 euros at a ceremony in Stockholm today.

The remaining grant funds will be split between the other four winners, which include a biodegradable textile made from cow manure; denim dyed using a coloring powder derived from used denim; decomposable nylon made from water, plant waste and solar energy instead of oil, and a digital thread that facilitates recycling.




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