Eurada News nº396 - January 2020

European Social Innovation Competition 2020

A few days ago, the Commission opened the applications for the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC). 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. Now in its eight year, the 2020 Competition is titled “Reimagine Fashion – changing behaviours for sustainable fashion”.

A few days ago, the Commission opened the applications for the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC). 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. Now in its eight year, the 2020 Competition is titled “Reimagine Fashion – changing behaviours for sustainable fashion”.

The consumption of textiles accounts for roughly 5% of the EU’s environmental footprint and apparel and footwear account for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

We need to change the way clothing and textiles are designed, produced, used and handled at the end-of-life stage. Reversing the trend of higher sales, lower utilisation of clothing, and a single-use attitude towards fashion will require a concerted effort, prompted by bold and new social innovations.

The 2020 European Social Innovation Competition will reward the most innovative approaches 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 behaviors 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. 

Per year, EU citizens buy more than 12kgs of clothing each, the production of which contributed 195 million tonnes of CO2e to the atmosphere and used 46 billion cubic meters of water.

Particularly, applications should reply to one or more of the following  challenges:

  • Solutions for sustainable use and consumption 
    • Change consumption patterns and behaviours regarding the linear use of ‘fast’ fashion 
    • Extend the life cycle of fashion products 
    • Reduce the use and consumption of fashion and textiles through innovative business models in favour of reuse, upcycling and sharing 
    • Make sustainable and fair fashion more broadly accessible 
    • Stimulate socially inclusive processes throughout the fashion value chain
  • Solutions for sustainable production 
    • Net zero waste and climate neutral fashion and textiles production 
    • Closed loop fashion and textiles systems 
    • Sourcing of alternative, sustainable feedstock 
    • Innovative techniques that build on traditional or local crafts for socially sustainable products 
    • Innovations that reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion market 
  • Solutions for improving the end of life stage
    • Environmentally and socially respectful ways of recycling textiles, while maintaining their value 
  • Reuse of textile by-products before they become waste

Semi-finalists get access to a range of support from social innovation experts, such as mentoring; exclusive webinars on topics covering sustainable fashion and social innovation; networking opportunities; promotion through the Competition’s communications and an opportunity to win one of the three 50000 € cash prizes. They will also receive training on various aspects such as prototyping, business models, communication strategies, pitching, etc.

More Information

You can check the EUSIC’s website.

Written by Tessa Anné, Project Officer at EURADA