The Textiles Circularity Centre (TCC) proposes materials security for the UK by circularising resource flows of textiles. This will stimulate innovation and economic growth in the UK textile manufacturing, SME apparel and creative technology sectors, whilst reducing reliance on imported and environmentally and ethically impactful materials, and diversifying supply chains. The TCC will provide underpinning research understanding to enable the transition to a more circular economy that supports the brand ‘designed and made in the UK’. To enact this vision, we will catalyse growth in the fashion and textiles sector by supporting the SME fashion-apparel community with innovations in materials and product manufacturing, supply chain design, and consumer experiences.
Led by the RCA’s Professor Sharon Baurley, with Professor Phil Purnell (University of Leeds) as co-director, and working in collaboration with Cranfield University, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Manchester and University of York, the TCC supports better social, economic and environmental outcomes - working also with a wide range of partners from industry, the NGO sector, and the public sector.
The TCC is a four year award of £5.4m; one of five circular economy centres funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres Programme.
The TCC research programme has three interconnecting Research Strands: Materials Circularity (MC), Circular Supply Chain (SC), and Consumer Experience (CX).
Materials Circularity Research Strand
The Materials Circularity Research Strand will establish an integrated approach that transforms waste feedstocks into functional and regenerative textiles designed for circularity. Our pioneering biotechnology will convert waste into building blocks for new polymer and fibre production. Innovations in the fabrication and design of circular textiles will enable technology-driven processes that use local materials. The Materials Circularity group includes:
Dr Miriam Ribul, Materials Science Research Centre, Royal College of Art [lead]
Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, University of York [co-lead]
Dr Alexandra Lanot, Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, University of York
Professor Prasad Potluri, Department of Materials, University of Manchester
Professor Paulo Bartolo, School of Engineering, University of Manchester
Dr Sameer Rahatekar, Enhanced Composites & Structures Centre, Cranfield University
Professor Phil Purnell, School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds
Circular Supply Chain Design Research Strand
The Circular Supply Chain Design Research Strand will establish narrow, slow and closed resource flows through better tools for Circular Supply Chains. We will study which novel supply chain configurations and technologies are needed for bio-based textiles circular supply chains. The Circular Supply Chain Design group includes:
Professor Steve Evans, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge [lead]
Dr Ali Asadipour, Computer Science Research Centre, Royal College of Art
Consumer Experience Research Strand
The Consumer Experience Research Strand will establish a coupling between the resource flow and human wellbeing by building a Product Cultures Lab and a Circular CX Framework with which to design consumer experiences that engage people in interactive, meaningful, co-creative and sustainable cultures around products, transforming their role from ‘consumers’ to ‘active co-creators’ in a sustainable product cycle. The Consumer Experience group includes:
Dr Bruna Petreca, Materials Science Research Centre, Royal College of Art [lead]
Professor Carey Jewitt, UCL Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University College London [co-lead]
Professor Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze, UCLIC, Division of Psychology & Language Sciences and Department of Computer Science, University College London
Dr Youngjun Cho, Department of Computer Science, University College London
Professor Aikaterini Fotopoulou, Department of Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, University College London
Professor Marianna Obrist, UCLIC, Department of Computer Science, University College London
Dr Danielle Barrios-O'Neill, School of Communication, Royal College of Art
Professor Sharon Baurley
Sharon’s research is focused on advanced interdisciplinary human-centred design methods to create new ‘Product Cultures’, as a strategy for post-Industrial Design in the age of the Anthropocene, that de-couple the use of materials resources from human wellbeing and economic development, in the context of the Fab City, where cities are locally productive whilst being globally connected.
Dr Bruna Petreca
Research Fellow in Human Experience & Materials
Bruna is a design researcher and practitioner whose research engages with and develops a deeper understanding of the sensory characterisation of materials.
Dr Miriam Ribul
Research Fellow in Materials Circularity for Distributed Manufacture
Miriam’s research innovates design methodology for transdisciplinary material design approaches that integrate methods from materials science and biotechnology in order to nurture new socio-ecological systems.
Dr Ali Asadipour
Prior to his appointment at RCA, Ali worked in leading research groups in the field of computer science, engineering, social sciences and digital health and wellbeing.