Feasibility study new business model for 4 business textile products

Centexbel, the knowledge and innovation centre for the textile industry, wants to conduct an in-depth study of the feasibility of a new circular business model, in this case focusing on four widely used industrial textiles.

In contrast to the classic linear value chain, where each link optimises its own activities and benefits, the emphasis within the circular model is on the joint management and governance of the value chain. This means that all actors within the chain share direct responsibility for the final products, that they collectively bear all costs of all product life stages and that they also all jointly decide on all aspects that influence the value of the product (e.g. design, maintenance and life cycle, reuse of discarded articles, recycled materials, etc.).

This collective and integral management ensures that all partners will strive for maximum value retention of the materials and products used throughout their life cycle, including the disposal phase. And this will lead to a more sustainable society in economic, ecological and social terms.

Although this model seems fully justified in theory, it still looks strange in our current economic context. For many companies, collective entrepreneurship still conjures up negative images and also brings many obstacles to the surface. An in-depth preliminary study into the feasibility of this model is necessary.


  1. The project gave the opportunity to map the cooperation between companies where traditional linear chains can eventually be replaced by circular ones.
  2. Through this study, we were able to make the importance of circular economy concrete, by showing that not only economic elements, but also ecological and social aspects determine the Total Cost of Ownership of a product.
  3. In this study, all aspects of this new business model were discussed in depth for a specific, concrete textile product. This made the specific challenges and problems of circularity and sustainability much clearer and more concrete.
  4. We grouped the biggest challenges of this new model into four themes: economic (e.g. lack of clarity about revenues, costs, etc.), legal (no legal framework yet), technical (e.g. demonstrating sustainability) and practical (e.g. the different mindsets of partners).


  1. A model of collective management and governance of the value chain is still difficult. Companies fear, among other things, losing their identity or their grip on changing things. However, everyone agrees that textile production must become more sustainable and that recycled materials are not only interesting, but necessary.
  2. At the moment, there is still no legal framework to develop such a chain cooperation. For example, we come up against many challenges concerning legal product responsibility, intellectual property and waste legislation.
  3. An important opportunity lies in setting up a clear European legal framework to integrate ecological and social costs into the pricing of products and services. In addition, financing or subsidies can certainly encourage sustainability.
  4. The collective management and governance of value chains requires close, clear and transparent cooperation between all the different partners. All actors must play a dynamic role and there must be clear agreements on the financial, legal and practical aspects.