Living Lab value chain circular consumer textiles (upstream)

Infinitex is a research project of Thomas More college in Mechelen that seeks sustainable solutions for the textile industry. Currently, fast-fashion dominates and the production of clothing is highly polluting.

The current speed of the fashion industry and the consumption pattern that goes with it means that our clothes end up in landfills far too quickly. There is also underutilisation of already existing clothing, as it is used too briefly and too little.

Researchers at this living lab therefore aim to achieve visible and measurable progress in extending the life span or more intensive use of consumer textiles for women, men, children and household linen by setting up, testing and improving new business models such as take-back and resale, rental, loan and share models. The other focus is on developing services such as sorting-as-a-service, washing-as-a-service, repair-as-a-service, which can completely unburden reverselogistics. This explicitly takes into account the consumer as a crucial link for these business models to succeed.

In this project, some 250 researchers will work for three years on current challenges, such as the transition to circular business and the growth towards a sustainable and inclusive society. They will investigate ways to use fewer raw materials and reuse materials and components.

"Among other things, we want to support Flemish fashion companies in setting up their own second-hand segment through a well-functioning take-back service," says researcher Veerle Spaepen. "Or through a rental service and a repair service. So that second-hand becomes the new normal. We are working with e5 fashion, Xandres, Filou & Friends and partners from the social economy to do this. This way, we can really change something in the retail field."

Thomas More Mechelen-Antwerpen

Partners Xandres, Filou & Friends, Dressr, Supergoods, Atelier Noterman, E5mode, Sheets-as-A-Service, partners uit de sociale economie en ondersteunende technologiepartners.