Meet Reima’s R&D Project Manager in the latest Trash-2-Cash Podcast

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In this podcast, Prof Becky Earley catches up with Matilda Laitila – an R&D Project Manager at cool Finnish Children’s brand Reima. For more than 70 years Reima has been supplying cosy clothing encouraging people to play outdoors, no matter the weather.

 

Through projects like Trash-2-Cash Reima intends to continue being the world’s leading expert in outdoor clothing for children. It’s also important for T2C to have industry partners who are at the ‘coal face’ of performance wear, to make sure fibres we develop in the project will be commercially viable in that sector.

 

Founded in 1944, there was a shortage of raw materials, so the first Reima products (women’s work wear) were manufactured out of old army snowsuits. As performance is such an important part of outdoor fashion design, there’s always been a focus on material breakthroughs at Reima – Enstex material was introduced, then followed by Reimatec. Matilda’s job is to study new materials that will help them meet their goals of a waterproof, abrasion resistant and comfortable garment.

 

Reima also has pretty inspiring pillars of responsibility around sustainability, covering material and product development, the supply chain, and future recycling systems.

 

Matilda talks about all of this in the latest Trash-2-Cash podcast, available on iTunes and Soundcloud now. 

Meet Circular Transitions Keynote Speaker Ed Van Hinte

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Ed van Hinte is a Dutch engineer, design critic, writer and educator with a degree in Industrial Design and Engineering from the University of Technology in Delft.

He has written and published many books some of which concern the consequences of diminishing material production and consumption. Some relevant titles are:

  • product lifespan extension in Eternally Yours
  • mass reduction in Lightness Studios.

He has delivered workshops on design and architecture all over the world, and in December 2014 received the Pierre Bayle lifetime achievement award for design criticism. Ed is involved in design research at DRS22 in The Hague, a multidisciplinary research facility for young designers that he started with graphic designer Renate Boere.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few projects right now:

  1. I’m continuing my exploration into the design of a lightweight standard house
  2. I’m researching ways to cultivate the value of used fleece, with fashion designer Conny Groenewegen
  3. And my main focus is writing a brand new book (working title Designing Lightness) as part of a campaign to understand lightweight structures, together with Adriaan Beukers, Erik Wong and Nai010 Publishers

 

What will you share at the conference that people haven’t heard before?

Controversially I’m going to say that circularity is not the right thing to aim for. I’ll convince you that we should focus on cultivating value over time, and minimising the flow of materials instead. Come to my talk to learn more!

 

Tell us about what you are excited to bring back from the conference?

Hopefully I will learn about projects showing the way to both a richer and a much more modest future civilisation

Meet Circular Transitions Keynote Speaker Cyndi Rhoades

 

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Cyndi is the founder/CEO of Worn Again and has led the business from its early ‘upcycling’ days to its’ focus as a technology innovation company.

With a vision to eradicate textile waste, she has worked on a series of ground-breaking products and projects with world leading designers and global brands, including Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, Virgin Balloon Flights, M&S and most recently, a collaboration with H&M and Kering’s Sports and Lifestyles brand, Puma.

In addition to circular economies Cyndi is also passionate about canal boating & car boot sales.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
We are in development of a textile to textile recycling technology that can recapture polyester and cotton from end of use textiles to be reintroduced into the beginning of the supply chain as new. The technology will provide a crucial enabler for the industry to transition to a circular resource model.

 

What will you share at the conference that people haven’t heard before?
I’ll be talking about how a new generation of technologies achieve the biggest technological advance the industry has seen since the Industrial Revolution.

 

Follow Cindy at Twitter @cyndirhoades 

Circular Transitions – The Big Themes

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The Circular Transition Conference is fast approaching and this series of blogposts will keep you up date with the latest news and developments as the final pieces of the event fall into place. The conference, which is part of a research project for the Mistra Future Fashion consortium will be the first global event to bring together academic and industry research for fashion textiles for the circular economy.

During the coming weeks we will introduce the four keynote speakers Cyndi Rhoades (Worn Again), Sophie Thomas (Thomas Matthews, The Great Recovery), Elin Larsson (Filippa K) and Ed van Hinte (Lightness Studio/ DRS22). The speakers will focus on the three sub themes of the conference: Materials, Models and Mindsets. We will also start announcing the exhibitors who are a group of pioneers demonstrating the latest innovative materials, processes and design models in this field.

Sticky and Stranded in Copenhagen: Reporting from Trash-2-Cash WS05

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Copenhagen was strangely sultry for mid-September.  Each morning as we walked/metro-ed/uber-ed our way to Copenhagen Business School the sun was warm and uplifting.  But then as the day progressed it became uncomfortably sticky until the cool relief of the late summer evenings. This unseasonal weather seemed to set the tone for the meeting.

 

We greeted each other with the broad smiles and genuine embraces which only come with the familiarity of a year’s worth of working together.  Although there was an anticipation about the difficult questions we had to answer over the two-day workshop, the atmosphere was warm and optimistic (something that the Skype calls has rarely managed to achieve).

 

In the morning we proceeded with the planned talks and activities, sharing knowledge about T2C materials on a tour of R&D islands.  In the heat of the afternoon, we started to explore our design islands.  Navigating from materials R&D to new design concepts was tricky at first, it took a while for people to adjust to the unfamiliarity of design applications – the journey could have been smoother.  At the end of Day 1 it wasn’t clear if we had achieved everything we had intended; had the two areas of materials knowledge from science and design cross-pollinated or simply passed each other by?  And some difficult questions about project direction remained unresolved.

 

By contrast Day 2 was a dramatic voyage.  We started by raising again the project direction issues in an open discussion.  There was an uncomfortable uncertainty as partners discussed their contribution to solving the problems.  Through some brilliant tools and mediation from our lead facilitator from Material Connexion and the generous collaboration of all of the partners, gradually the indecision turned into commitments and the sticky discomfort changed to excited optimism.

 

As we fed back the previous day’s Design and R&D Island work to the whole group, we began to see the project pulling together in a synchronicity that hadn’t been possible before.  The project materials lined up with the manufacturing capabilities and we began to see the types of products they could become.

 

The joy after a truly intense, sticky and rocky 2 Day journey was palpable: “This was the best workshop yet”.  Even if at times it felt like we might at any moment become stranded, the hard work of working together paid off.

 

My big takeaway from Copenhagen: “we need uncomfortable moments to progress”

 

And the result?  By workshop 06 in London we will have our first design concepts and our first Trash-2-Cash material samples.

Social Innovation in Fashion

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5th– 7th September

 

One of our current PhD researchers Emmeline Child has just presented at the International Conference for Social Innovation ISIRC2016 in Glasgow. Here she was presenting how her methods in fashion design, have led to Social Innovation in the Industry. Emmeline was drawing from her experience as a practitioner and through her PhD research, which is looking to develop design led models that can be implemented to increase levels of upcycling within the fashion industry.

 

Presenting in a predominantly business and management based environment places our fashion and textile design research at the forefront of this changing global market.  Showcasing these ‘design thinking’ strategies demonstrates how beneficial the work of designers and practitioners can be in the workplace today.

 

Emmeline notes that;

 

‘The impact of a clear vision can plant the seed of change to make a more sustainable future. Through cross-fertilization and careful nurturing, the impact can be wider than anything you initially intended. ‘The path to a more beautiful world can come from vast plans and small gestures… as long as the strategy bears the needs of future visitors in mind’ (McDonough and Braungart, 2015, p.180). It can be insightful to seek outside the social innovation paradigms for tested examples that can inform models for success in the future.’

Enabling Research to Change

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Our Swedish project partner Mistra Future Fashion has opened up a new funding opportunity;  Enabling Research to Change. It’s a call for new ideas that contribute to a systemic change of the fashion industry, making it circular and more sustainable. 60, 000 are offered to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

The clock is ticking for the transformation needed for the fashion industry to become sustainable. Efforts to find breakthrough ways to change are right now happening around the world. Most prominent researchers are engaged, supported by front running fashion companies. To stretch further – this is a call for additional breakthrough ideas that are worth being further explored! Mistra Future Fashion offers 60,000 € to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

Mistra Future Fashion is one the biggest research programs in the world and consists of a consortium of researchers and fashion industry actors that act towards the change – on how to design for circular economy, how to promote a more sustainable circular supply chain, how to enable user to act sustainable, and how to increase recycling. We now call for new additional ideas and partners that can strengthen our efforts on our journey to enable a systemic change of fashion industry.

 

Key focus areas that will be prioritized are “Digitalization”, “Implementation” and “Scale-up of Services”.

 

Deadline 30th of November 2016

Discovering new Islands: preparations for Workshop 05

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This reflective blogpost is written by one of TED’s Trash-2-Cash Post-Doctorial Researcher’s Dr. Rosie Hornbuckle about the process of getting ready for next week’s workshop session in Copenhagen.

 

Each Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project workshop brings new challenges for the methodology team.  The process of planning the activities which form the basis of the design-science interactions is in itself an experimental collaborative design process.  We begin by sharing ideas around some key objectives for the workshop, we identify current challenges that we need to address and try to come up with appropriate ways to do this in the workshop using methods and tools from our collective experience.  Sometimes this means devising experimental workshop sessions, other times all that is needed is a conventional PowerPoint presentation or an open discussion.  And then occasionally – to our great relief – a situation arises where we can repeat activities that we know have worked in previous T2C workshops (WS).

 

WS05 in Copenhagen is based on one of these ‘tried and tested’ activities. Julie Hornix from design agency VanBerlo, recalled a session that Material Connection had prepared for WS01 in Stockholm, way back in September 2015 (timely that it is reappearing exactly one year on).  In its first appearance the session was described as a ‘marketplace’ with scientists each having a ‘stall’ to share the different fibre technologies they would be developing in the project.  Our methodology team recalled that it had been a particularly effective and engaging way to share knowledge, introducing designers to the materials they would be helping to develop, using samples, videos and diagrams instead of scientific datasheets or dense papers.

 

Right now, we are at a Milestone in the project where Fibre Prototype 1 has been produced and so, once again our materials scientists have significant new knowledge to share with all of the partners.  Differently, this time, designers also have work to present: new design briefs and Concept Areas have been developed from all of our scenario work, and in Copenhagen our design and manufacturing partners will be choosing which Concept Areas they want to work on in more depth.

 

This time instead of a marketplace we have decided that Islands are an appropriate place for interdisciplinary discovery: groups will visit each island in turn to unearth the newly formed gems of scientific endeavor and design ideas.

 

On our Science Islands visitors will be able to see the first scientific results demonstrated through fibre samples with the best scientists in their field on hand to answer probing questions.

 

On our Design Islands visitors with discover material and product samples showing cutting edge design in three different types of application. Leading textile and industrial designers will provoke, translate and ideate to develop Concept Areas through discussion. They will be on hand to respond to questions from the scientists and manufacturers about how these design visions align with technical material challenges.

 

WS05 promises to be an exciting moment for all of the T2C partners: the methodology team get to use a repeatable workshop design; the scientists get to present their first results and glimpse the types of products their fibres could become; manufacturers can start to realise the types of textile structures and finishes that they will be able to test; designers will finally get something tangible and meaningful to work with: real materials and actual product concepts.

The First Trash-2-Cash Podcast

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During the Trash-2-Cash workshop in Milan in the beginning of the summer, Professor Becky Earley sat down with project partner Julie Hornix (VanBerlo) to talk social design, megatrends, and summer reading recommendations. This is the first podcast in a series that will explore the people, methods and tools involved in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project. Once the outcomes phase of the project has been completed they will also host in-depth discussions about the impact these will have on the world. You can download the podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud now! Julie has written the post below to accompany the podcast.

 

Over the past couple of months Ivo, Marjorie and I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project representing the Dutch design agency VanBerlo.

 

VanBerlo is passionate about helping our planet.
We’re also passionate about design and technological opportunities. So for us, this partnership was a match made in heaven. Here’s a short round up of our role and goals for T2C.

 

Dream Green!
At VanBerlo, we crave new approaches to the re-use of materials and waste reduction. To dream is to think big, and by thinking big you can come up with countless ideas to help the environment through design. We love to bridge the ideas with the visual, enabling us to go that one step further.

Joining the T2C project, VanBerlo’s goal is to help recycle textile from a design-driven perspective. Alongside the other T2C partners, we aim to increase the value of the end product (instead of traditional downcycling) – to upcycle and contribute to the grave to cradle initiative – no matter which industry is involved.

 

Not only do we bring global trend research to the table, but we also explore ideas in novel ways that help to produce surprising insights.
As our Senior Designer Ivo Lamers explains,“We believe that design thinking will help bridge the gap between science, technology and practice. This approach helps to boost the entire T2C project! At VanBerlo we often use metaphors to get discussions started, intensified, structured or sometimes even ended. Using the superhero metaphor during the Helsinki workshop initiated a huge team spark and helped to create common understanding and a common language between the partners about scenarios.”

 

We make sure that our ideas aren’t just cool; but that they also answer business challenges and user needs.
At the end of the day success for us is that the results should be accessible and globally relevant, rather than just being created for a niche market.

Julie Hornix, Design Researcher, Van Berlo

 

Podcast Links

VanBerlo

Change Ahead book

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close book

This American Life podcast

99% invisible podcast

TED PhD Researcher Exhibiting at Experiencing Change / Changing Experience

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Bridget Harvey is exhibiting in Experiencing Change / Changing Experience at ONCA Gallery, Brighton from 27th July –5th August. Her piece the Spelman Cups (2016) explores Elizabeth Spelman’s definitions of non-repairers and our complex relationship with repair.

 

The exhibition investigates a world where environment and society is in a state of flux with large, and sometimes devastating changes predicted for the future. Change can seem inevitable or out of our hands, so how much influence do we have on change? Do we just react to the changes we experience or can we intervene?

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International artists from the e:collective launch their debut exhibition of new work exploring relationships with change on a social, economic, environmental and personal level. The exhibition will challenge, enact, refresh and stimulate our perceptions and thoughts on change, and will be viewed alongside current research by scientists at the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

 

During the exhibition, artists in residence Mark Vennegoor and Aurora Sciabarra will each develop new work in the gallery, inviting visitors to participate in their practice. The project is devised by lead artist Valerie Furnham in collaboration with researcher Dr. Rosie Robison [GSI], and with the support of Arts Council England, ONCA Gallery and the Global Sustainability Institute.

 

PREVIEW | Tuesday 26th July 6:30pm – 9pm. Please RSVP to valerie.furnham@gmail.com

 

Address
ONCA Gallery | 14 St. George’s Place, Brighton BN1 4GB

 

Date
27th July –5th August 2016