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The European Social Innovation Competition: Finalists Announced

On September 21st the 10 #diogochallenge finalists through to the next round of the European Social Innovation Competition - from 766 applications - were announced.

Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Now in its 8th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition is based around a different issue facing Europe.

The 2020 theme: Reimagine Fashion - changing behaviours for sustainable fashion

The innovations should aim to reduce the overall environmental footprint and improve the societal impact of the fashion market, help make it more accessible and fair, and aspire to change behaviours in a sustainable way. Solutions should clearly aim at delivering impact, pursue sustainability, and be scalable or replicable post-competition – at the local, national or European levels. The competition process has three phases.

Phase 1: Out of the total of eligible entries received by the deadline, 30 semi-finalists will be selected to receive mentoring support and further progress their ideas. They will be invited to take part in a 'Social Innovation Academy' in The Netherlands in July 2020 and to network with other European organisations and potential partners in their field.

Phase 2: Out of the 30 semi-finalists, 10 finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony where the three final winners will be announced and receive a prize of €50,000 each.

Phase 3: In 2021, the competition amongst the 30 semi-finalists will be re-opened and will award the 2020 project that will have achieved the most significant results with an 'impact prize' of €50,000.

The 10 finalists include:

Airwear by Fairbrics (France) Fairbrics

A technology that converts the CO2 emitted during fabric manufacturing into new synthetic fabrics.

Kleiderly | Converting Clothing (Germany)

A start-up that turns recycled clothes into durable material used to make a range of products, from furniture to suitcases.

MycoTEX (Netherlands)

An innovation to make custom-made clothes using a sustainable fabric made from mycelium, a substance found in mushroom roots.

Post Carbon Fashion: Photosynthetic Coating (United Kingdom)

Zero-waste and regenerative dyeing and coating services for textile applications through microbiological processes.

resortecs® (Belgium)

Dissolvable stitching thread and heat-dismountable rivets that help make the reuse and recycling textile products easier.

ROND - CO2 reduced soles from discarded fabric (Denmark)

Sweat and shock absorbent insoles made from fibers upcycled from discarded textiles.

Senstile - Digitalizing textiles (Spain) A search engine that identifies, matches, and compares textiles digitally and at scale.

Snake (Croatia)

A digital commerce platform which applies augmented reality and enables development of digital fashion by changing the way fashion is consumed.

The first Lyocell hemp fibre: Hempcell™ (Germany)

A start-up that promotes premium European Hemp Lyocell fibres as a viable and sustainable textile alternative.

WhyWeCraft: Cultural Sustainability in Fashion (Romania)

Artisan-designer collaborations focused on reviving heritage European textile crafts.


Learn more about the 10 finalists HERE Learn more about the 30 semi-finalists through in-depth interviews on The European Social Innovation Competition new podcast series. Listen HERE




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