[CHALLENGE] How can wearable technology support the Circular Economy?



Wearable technology is ‘so hot right now’, but where it’s going next is hard to predict. What does the next five years hold? Will you be wearing a backpack that charges your smartphone, bracelets that purify the air around you from toxins, or a holographic jacket that illuminates to music? This unbounded future is part of the excitement, but also part of the problem.

Textile waste is fast growing – there is approximately 500 million pounds of textile waste sitting in Canadian landfills already and only around 15% of textiles are actually recycled. The recycling industry is already decades behind in innovating close-loop recycling solutions for today’s current material mixes. On its current trajectory, wearable technology is bound to throw a spanner into an already struggling system. But is it bound to be an obstacle, or could wearable technology help support the Circular Economy by carrying information on ‘what the fabrics are made from’, ‘how to dismantle the garment’ or ‘where to send it for recycling’? Are there other ways we leverage the capabilities of integrated technology to help solve the problems of a distressed system?

To fill during and after the event:
This challenge started as:

This challenge ended as:

Describe the evolution of your group’s thought process, what you did during the day:

Key things you learned:

The feedback you received, and how it was applied:

The practical outcome of this challenge is:

The Future: What elements did you decide to: pursue, pivot, purge, pause?


@technical @gpinuk did some work on this topic last year. Maybe they have insights to share :slight_smile: