Explore our research themes and related projects below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.