Since October 11, many events have been held within the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities – a landmark in EU regional policy which brings together regional and urban actors to reach shared compromises which may improve the quality of life of citizens. The 2021 edition focuses on green transition, cohesion, digital transition, and citizens’ commitment under the ‘Together for Recovery’ slogan.
The COSME project entitled ‘CircularInnoBooster’ and its accelerator CirCoAX will take part in this week by stressing the need to create an alternative ecosystem around the textile and fashion industry in Europe to ensure sustainability from an environmental, social, and economic point of view.
This sector employs around five million people in the EU, however it depends largely on imports and it lacks regulations for emerging alternative ecosystems. CircularInnoBooster stresses the acknowledgment of these markets and their efforts towards a sector respecting the planet boundaries via its CirCoAX programme.
The EU’s roadmap for recovery includes the creation of green and quality jobs as well as funding of innovation. CircularInnoBooster puts forward a model based on the circular and regenerative economy. With this in mind, the project highlights the role of every player within this sector, e.g. enterprises, designers, schools, and entities committed to SDGs as well as responsible and European citizens and consumers determined to ensure this transformation as well as the green recovery of the textile and fashion industry.
The involvement of European youth and innovation plays a key role in preserving the customs of the textile and fashion industry. From a social perspective, CircularInnoBooster stresses both the importance of a generational, industrial, and cultural renewal within the sector in every region of the EU and the importance of exchanging invaluable knowledge and legacy for social cohesion. Through the CirCoAX programme, CircularInnoBooster aims to retrieve and protect this knowledge. As Paloma García, founder of The Circular Project, a partner within CircularInnoBooster points out, “we are the breeding ground of what is to come; the union of new technologies with tradition”.
As regards to the regional dimension of the fashion and textile industry, CircularInnoBooster emphasises cross-regional dialogue to ensure a de-centralisation which may help create jobs in rural areas. Accordingly, several partnerships will be forged between different regions thus strengthening a cross-border market based on cooperation with several sectors offering alternatives to textile waste and enabling to learn the realities of each community.
At CirCoAX, we welcome any public/private body, region, or community sharing these principles, which are aligned with the 2030 Agendas’ SDGs and the EU’s endeavours to foster cross-regional cooperation.
About the European Week of Regions and Cities
The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.
COSME is the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).
This programme assists SMEs to develop their business models, to obtain funds and to internationalise. This scheme also supports public administrations to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and to facilitate the economic growth of the EU. During the funding period of 2014-2020, this programme allocated €2.3 billion to support SMEs.
Istituto Europeo di Design is an academic institution working in education, training, and the research of fashion, design, visual communication, and management. IED has offices in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan, Rome and five other cities) and Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro). IED works in several EU and COSME countries through collaborations and arrangements with institutions, business support organisations, teachers, experts, and mentors. IED has an extensive network of connections in the fashion and textile sector (F&T).
Finnova is a foundation working to promote and to develop innovation and entrepreneurship across the EU. Headquartered in Brussels, it works and engages in partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s experience in leading communication activities and disseminating European projects is coupled with an extensive expertise in creating enterprises and entrepreneurial support programmes such as accelerators, incubators, and events.
Texfor is a leading textile association in Spain with roughly 400 members. Founded in 2010 and based in Catalonia, Texfor brings together enterprises from the textile value chain, i.e. from weaving to fabrics as well as accessories, textile finishing, printing, and dyeing for the dressmaking industry, textiles for households and technical and industrial applications. Texfor has an extensive expertise as it has worked in relevant expert committees at an EU level: university and professional training, developing financial capacities, cross-cutting collaboration, fostering RDI, specialised services, and leadership in sustainability focused on the circular economy.
Circulab is a laboratory and design studio specialising in developing transformation methods, tools, and programmes to help enterprises adopt circular and sustainable business models. Circulab has designed a number of tools to implement a circular business model in enterprises. It works in 23 countries – 9 out of them in the EU – and it supports projects via 60 independent entrepreneurial consultants. It applies circular methodologies and tools.
TCP (The Circular Project) favours and promotes a circular and sustainable fashion in different areas, offering the fashion industry a communication strategy based on a cross-cutting and systemic approach of the circular economy. TCP combines social, ethical, environmental and economic aspects, and has a strong presence and connections in the sustainable fashion world.
TCP has promoted the Circular Sustainable Fashion Week Madrid, a one-of-a-kind event, and also serves as HQ for the Spanish Association for the Sustainability, Innovation, and Circularity in the Fashion Industry. TCP is also ambassador of Sannas (Triple Bottom Line Business Association) and has collaborated in a wide array of Spanish, European, and Latin American institutions and enterprises.
The Circular Project works with Human Nation to co-design and develop CirCoAX. HumanNation is a consultancy enterprise specialising in the development of transformative and disruptive ecosystems of innovation and companies for the ‘new economy’. It is based on the fourth economic sector, the systemic thinking, and co-creation. It raises awareness in organisations and ecosystems to respect the planetary boundaries and the social fabric, creating resilient local economies with a global perspective.