Reimagining fast fashion – revealing the winners of the European Social Innovation Competition 2020

  • Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen

    Caecilie Hougaard Pedersen

    Assistant Programme Manager

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26 Nov 2020

Three social innovation projects have been awarded 50,000€ each for their ideas to help make fashion more sustainable

Today, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition. The challenge sought to reward the most innovative approaches to reduce the overall environmental footprint and improve the societal impact of the fashion market, helping to make it more accessible and fair.

The three winners, which were selected by an expert judging panel out of 766 applicants from across Europe, have each received 50,000€ for demonstrating the potential to change behaviours around sustainable fashion. They were announced at a virtual Awards Ceremony, which took place as part of the digital European Social Economy Exchange Event. The 2020 winners are:

resortecs® (Belgium)

resortecs® is start-up that has developed dissolvable stitching thread and heat-dismountable rivets, helping simplify the process of reusing and recycling textile products.

Snake (Croatia)

A digital commerce platform that enables users to wear limitless outfits in augmented reality, thus helping to change the way fashion is consumed.

WhyWeCraft: Cultural Sustainability in Fashion (Romania)

WhyWeCraft: Cultural Sustainability in Fashion is a legal support mechanism for craftspeople and designers. The project is empowering those who are maintaining traditional practices, by opening up access to otherwise complicated legal concepts.

The prize was part of the European Commission’s efforts to transform Europe’s economy into a more sustainable one. At present, 25 billion gallons of water is required for a single years’ worth of global textile production. To give a tangible example, it takes up to 2,720 litres of water to produce enough cotton for just one single t-shirt. That is the equivalent to almost three years of drinking water! The innovations presented as part of the challenge had to clearly demonstrate that they could deliver impact, pursue sustainability, and be scalable or replicable post-competition – at the local, national or European levels.

Impact Prize

Impact is at the heart of the European Social Innovation Competition. The 2020 Impact Prize was open to all semi-finalists from the previous year’s edition of the competition. It recognises the innovation that has demonstrated the most significant results leading to social impact across the past 12 months, under the theme ‘Challenging Plastic Waste’.

The 2020 Impact Prize, worth 50,000€, was awarded to Empower, from Norway. Empower was founded with a vision to empower people to create a cleaner and better world. It is based on the idea of using new technology to enable a circular economy. The project developed a digital plastic waste collection system through which plastic waste can be deposited and collected for a financial reward.

For information on earlier editions and winning projects, visit:

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