Common Space

Common Space

Frequently Asked Questions

What does TCBL stand for?

TCBL stands for Textile & Clothing Business Labs, an EU funded project in the Horizon 2020 programme.

What is a Business Lab?

Business Labs explore more or less radical innovation trajectories, structured according to a coherent framework and relying on existing and emergent models. Current Business Labs in TCBL are Design Labs, Making Labs, and Place Labs.

What is a Business Pilot?

A Business Pilot is a company or actor in existing and concrete supply and value chains, including social enterprises, interested in participating in pilot experimentation in TCBL. Pilot activities are primarily in, but not limited to, the T&C manufacturing sector, and they aim to establish methodologies for «innovation transfer» of business model elements.

How can I become part of this?

TCBL launched its first Open Calls for Expressions of Interest on February 25th, 2016. The Call for Business Labs is by invitation only, while for Business Pilots you can register your interest until March 31st. For further information, see the Open Calls page.

Is this about fashion?

TCBL's about new technologies, new materials, new ways of working, and new ways of selling, but of course it is also about fashion: it's fashion that moves the T&C industry. It's not necessarily about fashion as we currently see it on the catwalks however, since customer-driven approaches are shaping business innovation and that includes fashion as well.

Have another question? Let us know!


Our common chatroom

This is a general discussion forum to share thoughts, insights and concerns, as well as tips and tricks about using the groups and other facilities. Feel free to share any ideas you think the TCBL community as a whole might be interested in.

All Discussions

In the context of the CreativeWear project, the ARCA TCBL Lab in Palermo organised the Vestino, a 3-day event with over 20 events and exhibitions relating art and creativity to textiles and clothing.


For the Amsterdam session we asked partners to bring an example of a project or company they think is inspiring and that could feed into the TCBL project. Herewith an overview of what people shared. Please add more! 

Open knit
Artist duo Varvara Guljajeve and Mar Canet, working in the field of art and technology is developing Knitic project as an open hardware, which controls a knitting machine via Arduino. “We don’t use a floppy emulation or knitting machine’s keypad simulation. Instead, Knitic is the new ‘brain’ of a knitting machine that allows real-time control over the needles. It means, one can knit as long patterns as desired and modify the pattern on the fly.”  

In this shop you can just find a few t-shirts to fit your size. Once you know your size, you can choose a print of an artist Graniph is collaborating with an order your t-shirt. In this way only ordered items will be produced.

Fruitleather Rotterdam is a Rotterdam based collective of designers, currently studying and graduating at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, working on social issues in a multidisciplinary way. In this project they created a solution for one of Rotterdams biggest social issues, food waste. In a single day on one of the outdoor markets in and around Rotterdam, vendors daily trow away approximately 3500 kilo’s of rotten or other unsellable fruits and vegetables. They see the foods as trash and bin them. But food isn’t trash. Chefs use different technics to create wonderful flavor experiences with fruits and vegetables using them to garnish their plates. One of those technics is to mash, cook and then dry fruits to make them into a candy like piece of fruit called fruitleather. By producing this on large scale with the unsellable fruits from the market, a new kind of material is created, that can be used in many ways. 

Juko Design
Janet and Samina both trained as weavers at Huddersfield University before setting up Juko Designs. Originally they wove fabric to their own designs on a power loom and used this fabric to make a range of handbags. However an increasing desire to introduce weaving to a wider audience following the resurgence in popularity of knitting and crochet led to the development of their weaving kits. The kits are easy to use and come with clear instructions. They also offer a variety of weaving workshops. 

Tentree is an environmentally progressive purveyor of lifestyle apparel and accessories that plants ten trees for every item sold. Established in 2012, their mission is to have a lasting impact on this planet and the people in it by planting trees, supplying jobs, and providing education. It is their belief that by planting trees, we can have an incredible impact on our planet and protect the world we play in.

Manufacturing is one of the key areas they pursue social equity and environmental sustainability. It is a widely held belief that the garment manufacturing industry is oppressive and irresponsible. To make a broad sweeping statement that tentree will avoid all international production is to accept that there are issues that cannot be fixed. Instead, tentrees works to change the apparel industry through transparency, dedication, and diligence.


Could be interesting for TCBL! More info here

Textile and fashion products made in Europe are renowned for their creativity, innovation, quality and increasingly the environmental and social responsibility with which they are produced.

Constant improvement in materials, production processes and supply chain management can further optimise the sustainability performance of the European textile and clothing industry.

However to achieve real step-changes in material circularityresource-efficient manufacturing and smart on-demand business operations, radically new concepts, technologies and business models are required.

Join the “Innovating for Sustainability in European Textiles and Clothing” Conference to:

  • Listen to European thought leaders on textile sustainability of the 21st century
  • Discover industry innovators and technology disruptors working already today on the sustainability solutions of tomorrow
  • Learn about tools and solutions that EU initiatives bring to the industry across Europe
  • Understand how digitisation and material circularity can enable entirely new market approaches and business models

Representatives from the entire European fibres, textile and clothing value chain, from research and technology organisations, industry federations, consulting and service companies as well as policy makers and the media are expected for the event.


Focus on the unethical and environmentally unfriendly realities of the current textile and clothing industry has been a topic of conversation for some time now. To combat this, several initiatives focus on public awareness and behavioral change: buy and use less textiles, different textiles, better textiles. But what is better?

Organic materials might not be sustainable or fair trade, and fair trade does not necessarily mean good quality. And if we buy less, does that mean the creators earn less? Meanwhile, emerging technologies are knocking the industry’s closed doors: from digital design and production to 3D body scanning.

In the recently established TextileLab Amsterdam—a physical workplace at the top of the Waag building on the Nieuwmarkt—we're grappling with these problems and changes within the industry. With the help of design students, researchers, artists, engineers and professionals from the fashion world, we're aiming to not only break open, examine, and understand existing (closed) systems, but also begin work on alternative systems.

Alternative stories 
But what do we really want the industry to look like? What are the alternatives to fast-fashion, emphasis on marketing, and “yourself as brand?” What do we want that the clothes that we wear to say? Now that Lidewij Edelkoort has announced that “fashion is dead”—what's the story? Waag Society was on the lookout for like-minded people together to question and envision the potential future of this industry. In collaboration with Mascha van Zijverden (ArtEZ), we organized a round-table workshop over two evenings during which students from various academies in the Netherlands, alumni, and so called experts came together. Photo's of both evenings can be found here

Possible future
In the first session, we discussed the subjects the fashion design (or theory) students and alumni are concerned about, what they think is important, and what trends they see affecting the world of future fashion professionals. Should it be produced locally? What sorts of solutions does technology provide? What is the role of craftsmanship? An interesting mix of interests and work amongst our group made for a lively discussion and variety of input. We talked about everything from the use of virtual reality, to constructing garments without sewing machines, to developing new materials in a wetlab or fablab and more conceptual staring points from which to look at fashion clothing and the industry. With this in mind, we subsequently discussed the future fashion professional and what his or her knowledge, skills, and passions might be like (head, hands, heart).

The second session shifted towards people from the fields of technology, craftsmanship, education, fashion and policy. The vision of the future landscape of the industry was completed, and the outline of the future of fashion professionals prompted a discussion about the current system of education and student work. The evening ended with one-on-one conversations during which the students could submit their questions to experts in the field.

Next steps
The most important outcome of this round-table workshop? That all participants are not only eager to question and change the current system, but also question and change themselves. And this was only the first meeting.

On 6 September, we're officially opening TextileLab Amsterdam. In the meantime, we are busy preparing the public events, the open evenings and the TextileLab Amsterdam Academy program, which will also start in September. Within this program, we're providing various six-month workshops in the field of digital fabrication, open design, craftsmanship, and more.


Hi all,

If anyone's interested in exploring the Europeana API, below is the link for the documentation.

Europeana has a full section on fashion, and is now currently running a contest for ideas for digital services.



"lottozero is a project for the creation of an international multi-purpose research center for professionals in the textile industry". Back to Prato, we come across this news announcing that a new lab, aiming to host young European designers, is struggling to open in the heart of the old productive Prato. 

Tessa and Arianna Moroder, the ideators of this project, have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, pledging for 10.000 Euro for their project. More info on: