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Fashion collection’s billion-dollar price tag...

Adrian Wilson

Fashion companies are talking about transformation, yet many start-ups struggle to receive the necessary support, foundation says.

14th June 2021

Adrian Wilson
 |  Stockholm, Sweden


The Billion Dollar Collection, launched today by non-profit H&M Foundation, presents ten sustainable start-ups with the potential to make a positive impact on the fashion industry.

Showcased as garments in a virtual fashion collection, each start-up features a price tag reflecting the estimated support each company believes they need to achieve scale for their disruptive innovations.

The H&M Foundation has supported early-stage innovation since 2015 through the Global Change Award, recognising ideas that can make the fashion industry circular.

We are not talking small gains – one of these companies is estimated to have the potential to achieve an annual net reduction of 720,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030

With over 20,000 entries since its inception, this innovation challenge shows start-up companies are ready to transform the fashion industry. More than ever, customers are demanding sustainable fashion while fashion companies are talking about transformation – and yet many start-ups struggle to receive the necessary support to bring their ideas to the scale required to go beyond capsule collections and pilots.

It has been estimated that billions of dollars are needed to change the fashion industry and the virtual Billion Dollar Collection highlights ten previous Global Change Award winners with potential to create multi-dimensional value with the industry’s support.

Green Nettle Textiles - GCA winner 2019. © H&M Foundation


“We have worked with innovators for many years now and their biggest hurdle to realising their ideas is funding and support to build scalable technology solutions,” said Diana Amini, global manager of the H&M Foundation. “They also need collaboration partners like fashion brands and suppliers. With this campaign we want to create awareness of the impact sustainable innovation can achieve if given the opportunity to grow. Together, we can create a shift in the fashion industry where sustainability and innovation are implemented as default practice. The time is now,” she said.

© H&M Foundation

The ten innovations selected for the edgy collection of evolved casual classics come from across the globe and encompass elements from materials to traceability. The collection – characterised by asymmetrical details, trinket-like finishing, non-standard colours and bold volumes – has been exclusively created in computer-generated imagery by Mackevision, part of Accenture Interactive. Using the latest CGI character design technology, Mackevision created a unique digital avatar from scratch, which brings the textures and intricate details of the collection to life through movement. If the fashion industry and its communities, embrace these 10 disruptive innovations, this collection could become reality and be produced at scale.

Billion Dollar Collection BTS - Pauline Chardin. © H&M Foundation

Accenture also brought its 360-degree value approach to the collection with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind. The model shows each innovation could have a big, positive impact for the planet, if given the opportunity to scale. And we are not talking small gains – one of these companies, for instance, is estimated to have the potential to achieve an annual net reduction of 720,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.


“The Billion Dollar Collection presents a unique opportunity to help the fashion industry reinvent itself through sustainable innovations that can fuel future growth and bring positive change,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director and global retail industry group lead at Accenture. “By adopting our 360-degree value approach for this collection, we are demonstrating how these new innovations can deliver value across multiple dimensions including sustainability – and move past narrowly defined views of value.”

“It’s crucial to support sustainable innovation if fashion is going to make the shift to a more sustainable industry,” says Karl-Johan Persson, chairman of H&M Group. “The Billion Dollar Collection highlights this untapped opportunity.”

Watch the Billion Dollar Collection film...

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