• The auditorium of the School of Computer Engineering of the UPV hosted this informative hybrid conference as part of the exhibition Sustainable Fashion. The textiles of the future.
  • Adrián Noheda, EU Project Officer at Finnova, presented the CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster project. A project funded under the COSME programme that aims to transform textile and fashion companies into sustainable, circular, and regenerative enterprises.

Circular economy and sustainability were the main topics of the conference. With the auditorium of the School of Computer Engineering of the UPV full of students, experts and curious about the combination of the textile sector and sustainable fashion, Salomé Cuesta, Vice-Rector for Art, Science, Technology and Society of the UPV, opened last Wednesday, November 2, the conference “Europe – New Textile Projects for a new economy”, the second conference held under the exhibition Sustainable Fashion: Textiles of the future.

The conference followed a roadmap that addressed the whole production process of the textile sector where the different speakers presented solutions, projects, and a vision of the future of sustainable fashion. Adrián Noheda, EU Project Officer at Finnova, presented the consortia selected by the COSME programme, which accelerate approximately 120 projects linked to the support of the most innovative proposals from SMEs funded through European funds.

Once the business context was introduced, it was the turn of CIRCUTEX “Circular economy in fibre-reinforced composites and technical textiles through the use of virtual laboratories”. Pablo Díaz, director and lecturer at the UPV Department of Engineering, spoke about the Erasmus + programme, which aims to promote and improve the skills and sustainability of companies to reduce textile waste.

Pedro Olazabal, co-founder of Hands-on Impact, Frances Sola, expert in international marketing and market access, Joan Santamaria, CEO of Hilaturas Arnau- Brefashion and Ana Belen Noriega, general secretary of PEFC Spain, took the floor and focused on “The life cycle of a garment”. A speech in which the importance and role of recycled materials and natural fibres such as hemp, ceiba, bamboo and tencel was discussed.

To end the production process, once the business environment, skills, and the use of new materials to reduce textile waste and how they can be remarketed, it was the turn of another of the great problems of the textile industry: reducing the water needed to impregnate a garment with dye. Ana Ronquero, in charge of traditional dyeing techniques, Silvia Grau, R&D and sustainability technician at Pigmentalia and Mar Márquez, member of SIC-Modaes spoke about new methodologies and proposals in “New dyes for textiles”. They warned that natural dyes are not always the best solution, as well as the need to expand the use of recycled and ecological dyes while providing immediate solutions such as using non-potable water to dye clothes and once the process is finished, returning the water to the earth, closing the cycle.

To conclude the event, it was the time for the round table where all attendees were able to discuss and share their concerns, potential solutions, and doubts about the progress of the textile sector towards sustainable fashion, through innovation, circular economy, and the commitment to increase training and skills in this area.

About Sustainable Fashion – The textiles of the future

To celebrate the designation of Valencia as World Design Capital for 2022, the Polytechnic University of Valencia hosted from 18 October to 3 November an exhibition showing initiatives, projects and innovative solutions around fashion and textiles in general, in the interests of a sustainable and circular industry model and will host two conferences that will bring together companies in the sector, professionals, specialists and academics.

About CircularInnoBooster

CircularInnoBooster Fashion and Textile (F&T) is a project funded by the European Union’s Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Programme (COSME).

The CircularInnoBooster project aims to transform companies in the textile and fashion industry into sustainable, circular, and regenerative enterprises. With a duration of 2 years, it has a budget of 1,128,000 euros, 75% co-financed by the European Commission. The project is composed of an international consortium led by the European Institute of Design (IED), together with Texfor, Circulab, Finnova and The Circular Project with HumanNation.

About COSME  

COSME is the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises programme of the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). 

Through this programme, assistance is provided to SMEs to help them develop their business models, access finance, and internationalise. It also supports public administrations in improving the business environment and facilitating economic growth in the European Union. During the 2014-2020 funding period, this programme earmarked €2.3 billion to support SMEs.

About IED  

Istituto Europeo di Design is an academic institution operating in the field of education, training, and research in the disciplines of design, fashion, visual communication, and management. IED has branches in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan, Rome and 5 other cities) and Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro). It operates in several EU and COSME countries through partnerships and agreements with institutions, business support organisations, teachers, experts, and mentors. IED is based on a wide network of connections in the F&T (Fashion and Textile) sector. 

About Finnova

Finnova is a foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s expertise in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and selection and award ceremonial events. 

About Texfor

Texfor is the textile association of reference in Spain with 400 members. Founded in November 2010 and based in Catalonia, it brings together companies from the entire textile value chain, from yarns to fabrics through accessories, finishing processes, printing, and dyeing for the garment industry, home textiles and technical / industrial applications. Texfor has expertise and experience, having worked in important expert committees at EU level: university and vocational training, financial capacity building, transversal collaboration, promotion of R&D&I, specialised services, and leadership in sustainability with a focus on the circular economy. 

About Circulab

Circulab is a laboratory and business design studio specialising in the development of methodologies, tools, and transformation programmes to help companies develop circular and sustainable business models. Circulab has designed a set of tools to implement the circular economy model in companies. It operates in more than 23 countries, 9 of them in the European Union, supporting projects through more than 60 independent business consultants, applying the circular methodology and tools. 

About The Circular Project with HumanNation

TCP (The Circular Project) supports and promotes circular and sustainable fashion in different areas, offering the fashion industry a communication strategy based on a cross-cutting and systemic approach to the circular economy. TCP combines social, ethical, environmental, and economic aspects, and has a strong presence and connections in the world of sustainable fashion. TCP has promoted the Circular Sustainable Fashion Week in Madrid, a unique event of its kind, and acts as the headquarters of the Spanish Association for Sustainability, Innovation and Circularity in the Fashion Industry. TCP is also an ambassador for Sannas (Triple Bottom Line Business Association) and has collaborated with a wide range of Spanish, European and Latin American institutions, and companies.   The Circular Project is working with Human Nation to co-design and develop CirCoAX. HumanNation is a consulting firm specialising in the development of innovation ecosystems and transformative and disruptive companies for the “new economy”. It is based on the fourth economic sector, systems thinking and co-creation. It sensitises organisations and ecosystems to respect planetary boundaries and the social fabric, creating resilient local economies with a global perspective.