[NODE] Global Circular Textile Challenges

This is a public wiki to get an overview of all textile related events. If you are planning a textile related event in your city, please add it here! :smile:

Cities with Textile-Challenges so far
Berlin - Circular Textile Challenge(s): Materials, Design & Production, Use phase, Recovery
Budapest - Recycling and Sustainabilty, Industrial and Creative Technologies in the Textile Industry
Helsinki - Clothing care station workshop + eco design jewellery and accessories
Indianapolis - Bio-based materials (incl. textile materials)
Athene - Footwear Lab
Capetown - Community Eco Market incl. textiles
London - Things designed for a Wearable Life

Facebook event
Facebook event

Useful Threads, People and Posts in the forum
OSCEdays Fashion and Textiles Cloud Folder – for login details send a message to @cameralibre

Why we think Circular Textiles matters
Creating a circular zero-waste textile economy is one of the hottest topics for the textile industry in the coming years. Small and big textile companies are working on the development of circular systems. However, there are still many challenges to overcome from the development of fully biodegradable or permanently technically recyclable materials to organizing post-consumer recovery systems, new business models such as leasing and transparent material declaration.

Global node connectors for circular textiles (if you have any questions or need some inspiration or support):
Sophia Opperskalski (@sophia) & Ina Budde (@Ina)

1 Like

Dear global community, who is planning to organize events/challenges around open source circular textiles and fashion? Which cities? Which topics? Looking forward to get in touch!

There’s now a Fashion and Textiles OSCEdays cloud folder for sharing files and collaborating on texts. For login details, just send me a direct message!

We are working on the development of an Open Source (CC BY-SA) Circular Textile Manual. Feel free to add your project! Everybody can become co-author of the manual. Please find the link to the documents in our Fashion and Textiles Folder.

1 Like

Hi Sophia,

Has anyone thought about designing textile that warms or cools to avoid costly and inefficient space heating or cooling?

Hi @Gien,

I think one of the main reasons why human beings started to wear clothes was because they warm (e.g. wearing wool in winter time). I think the phenomenon to wear t-shirts in winter and thus use more energy for heating the space is rather new… There are also some clothes made from natural materials which make you feel less warm (e.g. linen) but they do not really cool. But I guess what you have in mind are garments made from new materials which really warm you (more than wool) or cool you (more than linen). There are several companies working on this (see functional clothing, wearable tech etc.). But I think this is mostly discussed in the context of outdoor clothing and not so much with regard to indoor clothing and saving energy.

With regard to the OSCEDays, the question is how to make such garments circular and how to avoid that they will be special waste at the end…

Are you planning any textile related events? I saw that you mentioned textiles in your Community Eco Market challenge. Would be great to know more!

Best regards,

Hi Sophia,

One of the local participants is Tony Budden:


Tony imagines entire industries with industrial hemp. One thing he makes and sells at his shop is hemp clothing. We aren’t planning a textile challenge as such, but this could be an interesting one.

I was thinking more along the lines of this article:


I was thinking of heating and cooling products for the home or office because as a society, we spend tremendous amounts of energy on heating and cooling large volumes of space. Clothing can be one solution and furniture another, like these insulating chairs:


In Cape Town here, it gets cold in the winter, 4 months of the year and most places don’t have gas furnace as is common in northern hemisphere. So everyone uses inefficient space heaters or burns wood (no efficiently…no rocket stoves).

If there were a low cost circularly produced fabric, that would be very useful for many people.

Research here:

One would need to examine if Carbon Fibres or Phase Change Materials as described in the paper above could be cheaply AND circularly produced.


Hi @Gien,

I got your - very interesting - point!

What immediately comes into my mind:
How to avoid a cold nose (or other uncovered body parts) if one wears heated clothing instead of heating the room? But maybe the body itself can redistribute the warmth… and we also do not have to think about a super energy-efficient garment which only heats a very specific part of the body but rather one which - a bit inefficiently - heats the room surrounding the person. Or we would have to cover the whole body… :smile:

How to make the garments and not only the fibers really sustainable and circular?
I think there are some people trying to develop carbon fibers made from wood or other biomass, i.e. from renewable sources and of lower cost: http://www.innventia.com/en/About-us/News1/Bio-based-carbon-fibre-from-wood-within-ten-years/ This would be a very important step towards sustainability. If these fibers are, however, then mixed with other materials, the real challenge would be to recover, disassemble and recycle all the different materials used.

It`s also great to hear that Tony Budden is taking part in the OSCEDays in Cape Town! Would love to know more about his experience with hemp! I am also working with different hemp projects.

Best regards,

Hi @sophia, Great synergies! On June 13, 14 afternoon, we are having challenges and workshops. Maybe during that time, we can hangout with you and Tony, yourself and others can share experiences and see what emerges out of the brainstorm?

1 Like

Hi Sophia,

I just spoke with Tony. He’s going to be coming in on the Saturday afternoon session so that would be the time to hangout together to brainstorm with Tony.

Contact me if you want to hangout.

CU soon!

Dear Sophia,

I like to introduce myself, I just became member of this community.

DutchSpirit invented in 2011 the first circular workwear. In 2014 we created an even more innovative workwear fabric, Inspire, that proves to be more comfortable than the general polyester/cotton workwear.

Inspire is 100% circular, the user is required to deliver the goods back and DutchSpirit is the director for recycling to new fiber and fabrics. We now have plain woven fabrics, softshell and polo-pique. All coated for a cooler inner climate.

To increase the use of this revolutionary fabrics we started the Open Platform Circular Workwear where we push the participating companies to higher levels of responsible production and operation.

You can read more on www.inspire-workwear.com. I also can get you more information about this innovation. Our goal is to ban polyester/cotton and make this enormous waist needless. For a better future!

Thank you,

Best regards

Erik Toenhake
Director DutchSpirit

1 Like

Dear Erik ( @DutchSpirit ),

it`s really great that you are getting in touch with us! I have read about your project - it sounds very interesting and we would love to know more about it!

Do you have some time tomorrow to very spontaneoulsy have a Skype call with us during the Circular Textile Challenge to explain us a bit about your project (15min), followed by a short Q&A (another 15min)? I know it is very short notice… but maybe you could manage to join? E.g. tomorrow, Friday from 16.00 to 16.30? If not tomorrow, maybe Saturday?

In any case, we are very happy if you send us some more information about your innovations!

You may send me an email to sophia@interloom.org. My skype name is sophia-ina.

I am looking very much forward to hear from you!

Best regards,

Hi Gien,
So glad to see some talk about hemp here. Doing fablab london this wkend. Great experience. I get many updates from following Tony, about lovely hemp. I would like to get involved in any open source projects you do with hemp or other natural fibres.

Hi Sophia,

We got so busy yesterday locally, we didn’t have time to call you. Tony was here yesterday but probably not in today but we may still be able to hangout remotely with him. Let me know if you are open for a call today.

Hey Erik, great product! Is anyone using this to design in South Africa or Africa? Can we introduce it here?

What does the recycling supply chain look like? If this is used for manufacturing here, could the entire supply chain be established in South Africa without having to ship back to EU?


Hi Gien,
we have a very busy schedule here during the Circular Textile Challenge Berlin. So we would prefer to talk to Toni after the challenge when we have some more time…
Have a good, interesting day!

Hi Sophia!
Let’s talk after the event! I have some ideas for some other circular products that I would like to develop based around innovative textile design.