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Innovations for Tomorrow Award by hessnatur Innovations for Tomorrow Award by hessnatur

For more than 45 years we have been pioneers in promoting sustainability in the textile industry. We prove every day that there is another way: fair, ecological and fashionable! Now we have come up with something very special: We are creating our own sustainability award - the Innovations for Tomorrow Award by hessnatur .

The nominees The nominees

The winners.

It was an exciting and extremely close final. All five Impact Startups were great! But our jury made its decision and the three winners have been determined. We are very happy with:

The three start-ups receive prize money and a start-up grant from the Impact Factory. They also have the chance to implement their innovative ideas with us

Thank you - we look forward to next year.

We would like to thank everyone who supported our project and made it possible.

  • THANK YOU to our three amazing partners: GREENTECH FESTIVAL , Impact Factory , DigitalValley ®
  • our wonderful jury
  • our great moderator Nina Eichinger
  • the numerous start-ups that have applied
  • all hessnatur employees. It wouldn't have been possible without you!

The nominees The nominees

The finalists.

Five impact start-ups completely convinced our jury. They are coming with us to Berlin to pitch their innovative ideas on the big stage of the Greentech Festival on June 24, 2022.

Also nominated were:
BEAWEAR is a fashion tech solution that eliminates the misfit problem and drastically reduces online returns, costs and waste. We make precise clothing size recommendations and create digital twins with virtual try-on.
EEDEN develops the most efficient chemical upcycling process for used textiles. With us, old clothes can be turned into new, high-quality textiles. In this way, the limited resources of our planet are protected.
LOVR is a 100% plant-based alternative to leather, made from hemp residues. We work with partners from the textile, furniture and automotive industries to ensure that LOVR is used as widely as possible.
Made with lovr
Repair Rebels
Repair Rebels is a platform where technology meets traditional craftsmanship - we offer fashion lovers an easy solution to repair their clothes and shoes. Our goal is to use a digital concept to draw particular attention to local solutions and thus to digitize the analogue market for fashion repairs, which is still highly fragmented today.
Repair Rebels
retraced is a sustainability management platform that connects fashion and textile companies with all those involved in their supply chains on a single digital platform, thus ensuring efficient data exchange and transparency right down to the raw material. This is driving the sustainable change in the fashion industry.
The award ceremony on June 24, 2022 in Berlin.
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We too started out as a start-up. To this day we create clothes from natural materials. We are constantly developing new standards for sustainability and thus inspire the entire fashion industry. We take responsibility - not only for nature and our planet, but also for the people who make the fashion. We set new standards and prove every day anew: Fashion can and must be sustainable.
Our award for innovation, sustainability and future Our award for innovation, sustainability and future

Your ideas for more tomorrow.

With our Innovations for Tomorrow Award by hessnatur, we want to support young companies and start-ups that provide sustainable, innovative and visionary solutions for the challenges of the textile industry of today and tomorrow. Because we are convinced: together we can achieve even more. With our award we reward your ideas FOR MORE TOMORROW .

That's why we're looking for you : Green & social start-ups for a sustainable fashion industry with a positive impact.

  • People and creative minds who dare to try something new and go bold.
  • Which ensure more innovations and further thinking in the value chain.
  • Who are not satisfied with the status quo.
  • Who want to change the fashion industry in the long term.
  • Who work meaningfully and with purpose.
  • Who have a positive impact and want to expand it.

Who should apply?

Do you stand for more tomorrow? Do you want to change something? Contribute your big ideas for a better future? You stand for more fairness and responsibility in the fashion industry, for more sensitivity in dealing with resources, for more transparency, data and green technology, for more circular economy, for more biodiversity, for new impact measurements & methods and more positive impact? Then you are exactly right here!

Are you in the ideation or market entry phase? Great. We support you in all phases of your company development.

Our selection criteria

  • innovation potential
  • economics
  • market potential
  • Your impact on topics such as circular economy, water, environment, biodiversity, human rights, working conditions, land use, climate, etc.

What to expect What to expect

What to expect

  • The big stage of the Greentech Festival - the largest event for green and innovative technologies worldwide. Here, five pre-selected start-ups present themselves and their ideas to our jury and the public.
  • Our three winners receive a start-up grant from the Impact Factory - Germany's leading incubator for impact start-ups. Here, real experts provide you with comprehensive knowledge on all relevant topics.
  • Prize money of 7,500 euros each for the three winners.
  • Access to an excellent network of experts.
  • The chance to implement your innovative ideas together with hessnatur and our partners.
  • We are supported by DigitalValley ® , the digital innovation ecosystem, which as a platform digitally connects start-ups, established companies and investors.


Our jury. Our jury.


Our jurors are the brightest minds from science, NGOs, the start-up world, media, civil society and business. Look forward to the exchange and benefit from their in-depth knowledge!

  • Raphael Gielgen , trend scout Future of Work Life & Learn Vitra
  • dr Abir Haddad , Legal Futurist, Co-CEO, Top 40 under 40
  • Kristin Heckmann , Chief Sustainability Impact Officer hessnatur
  • Reiner Pichler , Chairman of the Board hessnatur
  • Dirk Sander , Managing Director & Co-Founder Impact Factory
  • Marco Voigt , Founder & Managing Partner Greentech Festival
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Wenke , Professor of Economics and Ecology at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
  • Thekla Wilkening , entrepreneur, author, activist and circular economy visionary

Nina Eichinger , presenter, environmental expert and actress, will moderate the event.

Nina Eichinger
“Shaping our future positively on this planet is a mammoth task in which everyone has to pull together. Now is the time to take action in every area, big and small. We have no time to lose."
Raphael Gielgen
“By the end of this decade, it is expected that companies will be judged on how the company contributes to the biggest stakeholder, the planet. The brands of the future think and act planetcentrically!”
Dr Abir Haddad
"It is currently more important than ever to question the current situation and to develop alternatives now that should help us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - towards a future in which we want to live. That's why I support hessnatur's Innovations for Tomorrow Award."
Kristin Heckman
“Our award is a prize for more tomorrow. It honors green and social impact start-ups that turn ideas into solutions. For more fairness and responsibility, for more sensitivity in dealing with resources, for more green technology, for more circulation in our economy and for more biodiversity. We need more people who dare to try new things and take courageous paths.”
Reiner Pichler
"The combination of products and innovations that inspire people, produced and developed with the highest standards for sustainability, has been hessnatur's mission for 46 years. With the Innovations for Tomorrow Award, we want to go one step further and pass on our expertise."
Dirk Sanders
“In the Impact Factory we promote eco-social innovations. We are participating in hessnatur's Innovations for Tomorrow Award because it is a necessary initiative to make these innovations visible in the textile and fashion industry."
Marco Voigt
“Innovative solutions for a more sustainable future are always technology-driven, that is our firm belief. We are all the more pleased that hessnatur's Innovations for Tomorrow Award - in line with our motto "Together We Change" - will be presented at the Greentech Festival in Berlin."
Prof. Dr. Martin Wenke
“Textiles equip, dress and protect people and objects. However, their production continues to burden nature and people, especially along the global supply chains. Despite recognizable improvements in environmental and social standards, the potential for sustainable innovations in processes and products is nowhere near exhausted. The Innovations for Tomorrow Award is waiting for start-ups that show me, as a university lecturer and juror, how sustainability can be implemented in the textile industry in an inventive and profitable way.”
Thekla Wilkening
”I founded my own company at a young age and I am convinced that innovative, fresh concepts set the impulses that trigger the impact that we need for the future.”
Timeline and award ceremony.

  • The application phase starts on March 14, 2022 and runs until May 5, 2022 .
  • The review is then carried out by hessnatur and our jury.
  • We will contact and announce the five finalists in May 2022 .
  • On June 24, 2022 , the big stage of the Greentech Festival in Berlin is waiting for you! The five finalists pitch their smart ideas here and our jury selects the three winners of the Innovations for Tomorrow Award by hessnatur.


The services are provided to the award winners free of charge.

The award is at the sole discretion of hessnatur. There is no legal right to receive the prize at any time. If no application meets hessnatur's criteria, no prize will be awarded.

Note on the confidentiality of the information submitted: hessnatur will treat the information for its own evaluation purposes with care and implement all technical and organizational measures to protect the information. A formal non-disclosure agreement (NDA) cannot be granted upon submission. Therefore, please only pass on information that does not require such a declaration of confidentiality.

German law applies.

45 years of hessnatur.