US sustainable vegan fashion company, Crop-A-Porter, is the winner of the H&M Global Change Awards in Stockholm, receiving €300,000 of a €1m prize from the retail chain. Crop-A-Porter, currently based in China and launching soon in Costa Rica, is on a mission to change the fashion status quo.
Pineapple leaves, banana stalks, and sugarcane are just some of the materials the fashion business uses to create its innovative designs. Agraloop technology, the backbone of the team’s work, allows them to transform waste from food crops into bio-fiber textiles. The harvest from these crops can be detrimental to the environment, releasing both carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere when they eventually rot. Agraloop technology, created by Circular Systems, provides the solution to this problem, whilst also helping local communities. “The bio-fiber can then be turned into textile fabric; and voila – A new sustainable material ready to take the fashion world by storm,” Crop-A-Porter stated.
“We’re actually using the waste itself to power our plant and to create the plant-based chemistry that we use to upgrade the fiber,” Isaac Nichelson, CEO of Circular Systems, said on Tuesday, reported in Huffington Post. “The systems design creates surplus of the plant-based energy so those things can go back to the local community. You have this perfect organic fertiliser and soil for the farms.”
Swedish company, The Regenerator, was awarded second place by H&M, receiving a grant of €250,000. The company has built its business on the recycling of old clothes, separating out polyester and cotton to create new designs. Algae Apparel from Israel placed third, along with Funghi Fashion and Smart Stitch, receiving €150,000 each. All five companies awarded by H&M are innovative, sustainable, fashion forces working to change the industry for good.
“How we manage and consume resources will be crucial for the lives of present and future generations,” said CEO of H&M, Karl-Johan Persson. He added, “I congratulate the winners, who all have the power to help reinvent the fashion industry, enabling products and resources to be cycled instead of just having one single life.”