February 11, 2016

H&M rewards Finnish cotton recycling innovation

The award of 300 000 euros was presented by HRH Crown Princess Victoria. From left Professor Pirjo Kääriäinen, HRH Crown Princess Victoria, Professor Ali Harlin, Professor Herbert Sixta and post-doctoral researcher Michael Hummel.
H&M Conscious Foundation

An innovation for the conversion of waste-cotton into new textile received the Global Change Award by H&M Conscious Foundation. The innovation has been jointly developed by Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland.

A total of 2 700 proposals from 112 countries were submitted to the competition, of which the jury nominated five winners. Most public votes and a grant of 300 000 euros were awarded to the Finnish team. The total grant of one million euros was distributed among the five finalists.

The Ioncell-F process, developed by Aalto University, is a green, non-toxic and environmentally friendly technology for dissolving waste-cotton utilising an ionic liquid developed at the University of Helsinki. VTT has developed an appropriate pre-treatment process for the use of post-consumer cotton.

To further develop their ideas, the five finalists get also access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H&M Conscious Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.