2 min read
04 Dec

The European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU countries and Horizon 2020 associated countries. Organised in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, the competition calls all Europeans to come up with solutions to the problems affecting our society.

2020 theme: Reimagine Fashion - changing behaviours for sustainable fashion

 The 2020 competition, Reimagine Fashion, is calling for ideas and ventures that aim to improve the environmental and social impact of the European fashion market through the development of new products, services and processes, and innovative business models.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 fairer, and aspire to change behaviours in a sustainable way. Solutions should clearly aim to deliver impact, pursue sustainability, and be scalable or replicable post-competition - at local, national or European level. Further background on the theme of the competition is available on the EUSIC website.We're looking for ideas from one or more of the fields listed below and we encourage solutions that address several of these areas through a systems perspective.

  1. 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 
  2. 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 
  3. 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 

The competition process

The competition 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.To select the best entries throughout the competition, the European Commission is supported by an external jury of experts.

Timeline of the competition

  • Launch of the competition: 20 January 2020
  • Launch event12 February 2020, Valencia Spain
  • Deadline to submit an entry: 4 March 2020 (noon, CET)
  • Announcement of the 30 semi-finalists: 4 May 2020
  • Social innovation academy for semi-finalists: second week of July 2020, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Submission of detailed plans by semi-finalists: 20 August 2019
  • Announcement of the finalists: September 2020
  • Awards ceremony: 26 November 2020

 The competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations across the European Union and in countries participating in the European Horizon 2020 programme (see list). The application period ends on 4 March 2020, noon (CET). 

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