- Adrián Noheda, Finnova’s Director of Innovation and Environment, attended the Internationalisation of Sustainable Fashion Congress in the Colombian capital.
- The event was part of the major event “Soy Sostenible”, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce’s first event focused on sustainability for entrepreneurs and business people.
On 3 and 4 May, Adrian Noheda, Finnova’s Director of Innovation and Environment, attended the Internationalisation of Sustainable Fashion Congress in Bogota, which ended the 8 months of work carried out through the initiative “Sustainability in the Fashion sector for its internationalisation” funded by the European Commission within the Triangular Cooperation Programme Adelante 2. Led by the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru and the Finnova Foundation participated in the event. The CircoAx by CircularInnoBooster project was one of the protagonists of the event, which brought together numerous representatives of the textile sector from Colombia and Peru.
Adrián Noheda participated in one of the sessions organised at the headquarters of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce to talk about European funds for sustainable development and the circular economy. During his intervention, he presented the European project CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster, co-financed by the European Commission under the COSME programme. “It is an example of good practice in the circular economy whose aim has been to transform textile and fashion companies into sustainable, circular and regenerative enterprises,” she said. Indeed, Noheda explained how the project had launched CirCoAX, an eight-month acceleration programme that provided 30 consortia (#CirCoAX30) from across the European Union committed to circularity with funding, training and further activities to develop their ideas. “This acceleration aims to turn these initiatives into projects funded by the EU through programmes such as LIFE, Interreg and Horizon, enabling public-private partnerships with local councils, county councils and regional governments. It will also allow for job creation at a time when it is so necessary,” he said. Less than half of used clothing is collected for reuse or recycling when it is no longer needed, and only 1% is recycled into new clothes. This generates 5.8 million tonnes of textiles per year in the EU, approximately 11 kg per person. But instead of seeing this as a problem, we should see it as an opportunity to generate new materials from this waste, which in turn creates new jobs and helps social integration around the world,” he explained.
The fashion industry is currently the second most polluting industry in the world, a fact that has a clear impact on society and the planet, “as shown by what is happening in the Atacama Desert, where at least 39,000 tonnes of used clothes are stored. The positive thing we can take from this is that we now have the technology and solutions to turn the problem into new materials, energy sources and new jobs,” concluded Finnova’s Director of Innovation and Environment.
Business cooperation between Latin America and Europe
The initiative “Sustainability in the fashion sector for its internationalisation” has enabled business cooperation between Latin America and Europe to promote social innovation, internationalisation, sustainability and circular economy in the fashion and textile sector, the second most polluting industry in the world. The next step is to establish future collaborations in order to participate in new European public-private partnership projects on cultural cooperation, innovation, energy transition and circular economy such as AL-INVEST Verde, Horizon Europe and Euroclima+, among others.
The conference was part of the macro event held on Wednesday 3 May and Thursday 4 May, “Soy Sostenible”, the first event of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce focused on sustainability for entrepreneurs and business people, which brought together all stakeholders and national and international experts. Over two days, experiences and best practices of companies and organisations that have implemented successful business sustainability strategies in their operations were shared, promoting knowledge transfer and collaboration among participants.
About Sustainability Initiative in the fashion sector for internationalisation
Last September, the Finnova Foundation, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru joined forces to carry out the initiative Sustainability in the fashion sector for its internationalisation. This initiative, which will conclude in April 2023, seeks to share the knowledge of the entities of the Alliance to develop and apply support models for companies in the fashion sector, characterised by the promotion of sustainable production that complies with the highest international standards. In order to approach the programme from different perspectives, ADELANTE 2 has different components: operational support to articulate the ADELANTE Window for Triangular Cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean; analytical support to develop the analysis and studies of Triangular Cooperation together with the Ibero-American General Secretariat; and institutional support to develop bilateral Triangular Cooperation funds between the EU and certain Latin American and Caribbean countries. In this way, the programme can meet the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind thanks to Triangular Cooperation. Among other actions, a mapping of certifications and environmental sustainability seals has been carried out through the transfer of European and regional good practices. In addition, awareness-raising, training and business missions have been launched for the benefit of companies in Bogota and Peru to strengthen the capacities of the Alliance member teams. These actions are focused on achieving greater impact, transfer and scalability of the knowledge generated.
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.
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.
The 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.
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 specialisation 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 focused on circular economy.
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 also 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.
About Finnova Foundation
Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities for European projects is combined with a proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.
One of the areas in which the Foundation is heavily involved is the textile sector, the second most polluting industry in the world. For this reason, it has launched the Next Textile Generation platform, which aims to give visibility to and promote innovative ideas on sustainable practices in fashion and textiles. Through this platform, Finnova disseminates relevant information related to the industry with information on other European projects.