European Commission Announces the 30 Semi-Finalists for the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition - Reimagine Fashion

European Commission Announces the 30 Semi-Finalists for the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition - Reimagine Fashion

PR Newswire

BRUSSELS, May 5, 2020

- Judges select early-stage ideas around the sustainable fashion topic

- Semi-finalists demonstrate innovation in new sustainable materials and processes, technological solutions and ways to challenge consumer behaviour

BRUSSELS, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Commission is today announcing the Semi-Finalists of the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition around the topic of Reimagine Fashion: Changing behaviours for sustainable fashion.

30 projects from 14 countries were selected from a field of 766 applications, by a Judging Panel comprising industry leaders from both the social innovation and sustainable fashion worlds. The selected Semi-Finalists are all early stage social innovation projects that are working towards changing the ways we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and encouraging a sustainable change in consumer behaviour. In the next stage of the competition they will receive expert help and support to further develop their ideas, before the judges meet again later this year to determine the 10 Finalists and, ultimately, the three Winners.

Commenting on the Semi-finalists, Slawomir Tokarski, Director of Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing, DG GROW, said: "Building on Europe's position at the forefront of global fashion, this year's European Social Innovation Competition set out to look for innovations that encourage more sustainability across the fashion industry. 766 applicants from across Europe and the Horizon 2020 associated countries answered our call and we're really impressed with the variety of creative ideas they've come up with to help reimagine fashion for the better."

Meet the Semi-Finalists:

What happens next?

The Semi-Finalists receive a comprehensive online package of support from experienced social innovators to further the development of their ideas. This includes the Competition's social innovation academy, a multi-day training event that connects Semi-Finalists to a wider community of European social innovators through a series of dedicated presentations and workshops. This year the academy will take place online, offering the same programme in a collaborative and digital format. Semi-Finalists will also be paired with a local coach for 1-to-1 mentoring and gain access to an online Pool of Experts for tailored advice on specific aspects of launching a social venture. 

This prepares them for the next stage of the competition, where they submit extensive Development Plans to the Judging Panel. The Judges will then have the responsibility to select 10 Finalists and eventually 3 Winners, each of whom will be awarded 50,000€. Additionally, an Impact Prize of 50,000€ will be awarded to the Semi-Finalist from the 2019 edition of the Competition that has achieved the most significant impact over the past 12 months. All of the Finalists and Semi-Finalists will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony this Autumn.

The Judging Panel

The European Social Innovation Competition selects 12 Judges every year to sit on the Judging Panel. As a group, these Judges offer a wealth of experience and insights, covering social innovation and entrepreneurship as well as technical expertise addressing the year's theme. Through their collective voice they review applications and determine which entrants are taken forward to later stages of the Competition, firstly as Semi-Finalists, then as Finalists, and ultimately as Winners. Each year's Judging Panel returns the following year to review applications for the Impact Prize. Please see the full list below:

2020 Judges:

Anita Hrast, IRDO - Inštitut za razvoj družbene odgovornosti (Slovenia)
Anna Fiscale, Progetto Quid (Italy)
Bert Van Son, MUD Jeans (The Netherlands)
Carrie Ann Moran, NCBI (Ireland)
Federica Massa Saluzzo, EADA business school (Spain)
Fredrik Timour, Swedish Fashion Council (Sweden)
Jaan Aps, Stories for Impact (Estonia)
John Pitsakis, 3QUARTERS (Greece)
Jonas Eder-Hansen, Global Fashion Agenda (Denmark)
Pavlína Louženská, Consultant (Czech Republic)
Pirjo Kääriäinen, Aalto University (Finland)
Sebastian Thies, NAT-2 (Germany)

More information about European Social Innovation Competition:

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 addresses a different issue facing Europe.

This year, the focus is: Reimagine Fashion: Changing behaviours for sustainable fashion. The Competition was launched digitally on 20 January 2020, while a special physical launch event took place on 12 February 2020 in Valencia, Spain. Social innovators from across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 associated countries were invited to submit an application until the Competition deadline on Wednesday 4 March 2020.

The European Social Innovation Competition is run by the European Commission with the support of a consortium of organisations. The consortium is led by Nesta Challenges and includes Kennisland, Ashoka Spain, the European Network of Living Labs, and Scholz & Friends.

For information on earlier editions and winning projects, visit:

Questions about the Competition can be sent to:

Follow the Competition on Twitter: @EUSocialInnov #diogochallenge

Subscribe to the Competition newsletter here: 

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