Zug, Switzerland and Washington, D.C.: Online challenge, hosted by C&A Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers, will award funding to initiatives that address social challenges in the apparel supply chain
Today, C&A Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers launched Fabric of Change: Innovating for a Sustainable Apparel Industry, an online challenge that seeks innovations for building a fair and sustainable apparel industry. Winners will receive prizes totaling more than €100,000 to support their solutions.
While there is a growing concern within the fashion industry for sustainability and the working conditions of garment laborers, large-scale change has been slow to take hold. The catastrophic collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh highlighted many of the systemic problems that continue to plague the industry.
“We need to transform the way the apparel industry works,” said Leslie Johnston, Executive Director of C&A Foundation. “Unsafe working conditions, gender discrimination, and exploitation of garment workers are among the many challenges facing apparel. Through innovation, collaboration, and a change in mindset we have the potential to transform fashion into a force for good, creating an industry in which every man and woman – from farmers to garment workers – can thrive.”
The Changemakers Challenge will crowdsource solutions from around the world. A panel of expert judges will select the most promising initiatives to receive funding for scaling, refining, or testing their solutions. Challenge finalists will be invited to present their work to industry leaders at the Fabric of Change Summit, to be held in the spring of 2016. Winners of the challenge will be announced at the Summit.
“Fabric of Change will bring together social innovators and experts who have the ability to truly catalyze a transformation within the apparel industry,” said Diana Wells, President of Ashoka. “Building a strong, collaborative network of problem-solvers will be a tremendous step forward toward empowering everyone in the fashion value chain to creative positive change.”
C&A Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers launched the challenge as part of a broader partnership that seeks to support talented social entrepreneurs working to make the apparel industry more equitable and sustainable. The partnership will also map promising innovations and opportunities for transformation in the sector.
Full information about the challenge can be accessed at changemakers.com/fabricofchange. For updates on Twitter, see #FabricOfChange/
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