Exploring The Future of Circular Textiles: Highlights from the seminar

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Last week, New Cotton Project and Telavalue gathered textile industry stakeholders for a one-day seminar in Finland to share findings and exchange ideas on driving circular initiatives in the sector as the projects come to a close.

The day kicked off with opening words from Paula Sarsama (Infinited Fiber Company) and Pirjo Heikkilä (VTT). Lutz Walter (Textile ETP) shared the long-term vision for textile circularity developments, followed by a presentation on the steps towards circularity by Jukka Pesola from Pure Waste.

Drishti Masand (adidas), Ali Harlin (VTT) and Paula Sarsama joined Lutz Walter and Jukka Pesola for a panel discussion on the future of circular textiles, moderated by Jasmin Hamid.

New Cotton Project & Telavalue partners Petri Alava (Infinited Fiber Company), Diego Peñaloza (RISE Research Institutes of Sweden), Hannamaija Tuovila (VTT), Piia Nurmi (Turku University of Applied Sciences) and Satu-Marja Mäkelä (VTT) shared the projects’ results.

A prominent theme throughout all sessions was the need for long-term thinking and making bold strategic steps, leading to a system designed to last. As Ali Harlin put it, “We are building a Rome here, not a Venice”.

The seminar concluded with a session on sustainable textile research collaboration across Europe, featuring a talk about the ECOSYSTEX network by Tilla Kross (Textile ETP) and presentations by four fellow EU-funded projects: tExtended & Framework for extended textile circularity by Pirjo Heikkilä (VTT); T-REX Project & Closed loop recycling for textiles by Alexandra Barrios (adidas); TRICK Project & Digital product passport by Carla Fité Galan (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya); and my-fi & Mycelium based materials by Federica Gucciardi (SPIN 360).

A big shoutout to Kirsi Niinimaki, Emmi Pouta, Anubhuti Bhatnagar, Kasia Gorniak, and Elina Lewe from the Aalto University team for hosting, and to Pirjo Heikkilä, Susanna Raiskio, Melanie Hughes, Hanna Gavrylova, Paula Sarsama, and Leena Salomaa for co-organising.

Photography: Jere Aalto / Aalto University

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