The initiative will provide funding to sustainable apparel innovations

The initiative will provide funding to sustainable apparel innovations

The C&A Foundation,the corporate foundation affiliated with global retailer C&A, has partnered with Ashoka Changemakers to launch a new initiative that will help fund innovations that address social issues in the apparel supply chain.

The online challenge, 'Fabric of Change: Innovating for a Sustainable Apparel Industry,' will award prizes totalling EUR100,000 (US$112,972) to scale, refine or test solutions that contribute to building a fair and sustainable apparel industry.

While there is a growing concern within the garment sector around sustainability and working conditions, the groups argue large-scale change has been slow to take hold.

"We need to transform the way the apparel industry works," says 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."

"Fabric of Change will bring together social innovators and experts who have the ability to truly catalyse a transformation within the apparel industry," notes Diana Wells, president of Ashoka, adding: "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."