Research Themes

TCBL Association members carry out research on core themes, often through new EU-funded projects. We’ve found that the structure of the original TCBL Project, which was recognized as an “H2020 Success Story”, is a practical way to address these issues and test solutions in a safe and inexpensive manner. In short, we pair labs and businesses to develop collaborative business models within a set of shared values.

Explore our research themes and related projects below.

add remove
Bio-based materials

The extensive use of fossil-based materials, such as polyester and rayon, in today’s textile and clothing industry today is one of the problems that needs to be addressed through more sustainable solutions. A core pillar of the EU’s strategy for the sector is the search for bio-based materials to replace them. This can include fibres based on PLA as well as cellulose-based solutions derived from agricultural waste. TCBL is working with Europe’s leading research centres to explore the practical feasibility and business impact of some of the main technologies currently under experimentation.

Related project: Herewear

add remove

Inclusive business practices are an important part of the TCBL values; they lead not only to social benefits but also greater innovation capacity and market competitiveness. The TCBL lab-based innovation model is well placed to support the cultural shift towards an industry that is “open to diversity”. Indeed, we are finding that women, minorities, and the socially excluded may be the best-placed figures in the textile and clothing industry to innovate and bring us towards a more sustainable future.

Related project:

add remove
Circular Design

A truly circular economy is one of today’s greatest design challenges, involving the reconfiguration of material flows and supply chains but also rethinking business models, consumer practices, and the role of community activism. It is important that design talents broaden their scope beyond textile and fashion design to challenge business practices, service concepts, and lifestyles in general. TCBL Labs include some of the leading design academies and support services working to provide practical and concrete guidelines and tools for a broad uptake of a circular economy.

add remove
Local production

The globalisation of supply chains over the last forty years has not only led to significant environmental impacts but above all it has broken the relations amongst companies at each step of production. The important knowledge flows that have been interrupted need to be recovered to facilitate the emergence of new business practices as well as peer monitoring essential for maintaining standards of quality and human values. TCBL is working to find a new balance between local and global dimensions and to help companies discover the freedom of action that this entails.

add remove
Tradition & creativity

In a world of turbulence and uncertainty, tradition and creativity allow us to reconnect with social values and appreciate novelty, diversity, and authenticity. In the search for new solutions to complex problems, we can find inspiration from a range of cultural roots and the hidden and tacit knowledge embedded in the practices of previous generations. TCBL is working both to systematise textile and clothing heritage as well as to help companies come into contact with artists and creatives to see possible solutions with new eyes.

Related project: CreativewearPlus