The Casa de la Seda in Barcelona was dressed in sustainable, circular and regenerative fashion and textiles thanks to the participation of cutting-edge projects in the sector. Barcelona hosted the event “Pushing Innovative, Collaborative and Circular Fashion & Textile SMEs in the European Union” organised by the partners of CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster, a project co-financed by the European Commission under the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). In addition to presenting projects and ideas in this emblematic city of the textile sector, the event promoted synergies among participants.

For the last four months, CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster, led by the Istituto Europeo di Design and implemented by the Finnova Foundation, Texfor, Circulab, The Circular Project and Human Nation, has been mentoring and financing 30 European consortia, promoting transformative ideas in the second most polluting sector in the world. In this sense, it is essential to give them visibility and networking spaces, demonstrating that there is another fashion aware of the challenge of climate change and decarbonisation. In this context, Natalia Martínez Páramo, Head of Unit of the European Innovation Council and EISMEA of the European Commission, conveyed the message loud and clear at the event “fastfashion is out of fashion.”

Natalia Martínez Páramo, Head of Unit of the European Innovation Council and EISMEA of the European Commission.

Projects, initiatives and awards International organisations took the floor such as UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) with Partnerships and Knowledge Management Analyst, Maëlys Nizan, explaining the good practices promoted by the InTex project. Likewise, Director Sustainable Businesses Mauro Scalia, from the vocal entity at European level Euratex, presented one of the most important initiatives in the field of textile recycling, called Rehub. Another proposal that transcends the borders of the European Union was Themednew: TEX-MED ALLIANCES, presented by Director of Operations at Texfor, Mónica Olmos.

Partnerships and Knowledge Management Analyst, Maëlys Nizan. Director Sustainable Businesses Mauro Scalia.

During the meeting, some key awards and entrepreneurship initiatives were unveiled. On the one hand, Alessandro Miraglia, Networking and Communication Team Lead at MedWaves, explained the WeMed Award 2022 addressed to startups in the fashion and textile sector in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the Communication Manager of CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster, Natalia Cediel, presented the Nextextilegeneration Startup Europe Awards 2022, in which the 108 European consortia accelerated by the 4 COSME projects (SmallButPerfect, CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster, Fashion for Change and S4Fashion) are participating.

Cutting-edge ideas in fashion and textiles

The most eagerly awaited panel was undoubtedly the entrepreneurship one with 10 leading ideas commemorating the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. Walking the guests through the textile strategies of the European Union, Project Coordinator of CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster David Allo, encouraged all participants to lead the green, circular and decabonised transition of the sector. A commitment already made by FGHR, Pigmentalia, Júlia G Escribà, From the Med, From Trash to Life, Endless Garments, RE-FONTVODDE, Brefashion, Newex and ZWDO, whose contributions to this event and, above all, to the planet are fundamental.

With this third round of presentations, the CirCoAX30 are now in the jury hands to win the Nextextile Startup Europe Awards 2022. These European awards are promoted by DG CONNECT of the European Commission and implemented by the Finnova Foundation since 2016.

However, the events do not end in the city of Barcelona.  During the following 4 months of CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster acceleration programme, the 30 consortia will meet in multiple events, debating and participating in training and informative activities that will allow them to connect with each other. CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster will support them to achieve their goals and create an ecosystem of circular, green and regenerative entrepreneurship for the fashion and textile industry.

About COSME   

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.

About IED   

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).  

About Finnova  

Finnova es una fundación que trabaja para la promoción y el desarrollo de la innovación y el espíritu empresarial a nivel de la UE. Con sede en Bruselas, opera a través de colaboraciones y asociaciones en todos los países de la Unión Europea. La experiencia de Finnova liderando actividades de comunicación y difusión de proyectos europeos se combina con una sólida experiencia probada en la creación de empresas y programas de apoyo empresarial, como aceleradoras, incubadoras y selección y adjudicación de eventos ceremoniales.   

About Texfor  

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.  

About Circulab  

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.  

About The Circular Project co-designed with HumanNation  

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.