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Explore Future Lifecycles

About the Textiles Circularity Centre

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) National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres Research programme, and coordinated by the Circular Economy Hub.

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
Dr Vivek Koncherry, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Materials, University of Manchester
Dr Cian Vyas, School of Engineering, University of Manchester

Wheat Crop Residues

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]

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

More about the Textiles Circularity Centre

The TCC is one of five national circular economy research centres funded by the UKRI and coordinated by the Circular Economy Hub. It is funded by the NICER programme, a £30 million UKRI investment comprising 34 universities and 200 industry partners and is the most comprehensive attempt yet to create a future UK circular economy – one that uses fewer resources, creates more jobs and reuses more waste materials.

More about the Circular Economy Hub

The Textiles Circularity Centre partners with organisations across academia, industry, the NGO and public sector and is always open to broadening our network of partners and collaborators. 

Partnerships include:

  • Arcade
  • Centre for Process Innovation
  • Circular Systems Agraloop
  • DressX
  • EPSRC Future Manufacturing HUB
  • Fashion District
  • Fashion for Good
  • Fashion Revolution Brazil
  • H&M Foundation
  • Henry Royce Institute
  • Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) 
  • I-CO
  • IBM
  • Ideo
  • Innsbruck University
  • Jesmond Engineering
  • Kiosk
  • Laudes Foundation
  • London Cloth Company
  • LWARB
  • MaDE
  • Made in NY Campus
  • Manor Farm/National Farmers Union
  • Novozymes
  • OnRoad
  • Oxfam
  • Pentland Brands 
  • Policy Connect
  • Presca Teamwear
  • Regemat 
  • RSA
  • SharpEnd
  • Suez
  • Swift
  • Technical Fibre Products Ltd
  • THP
  • UKFT
  • Ultraleap
  • Vireol Bio-Energy
  • Wandsworth Council
  • Wilson Bio-Chemical
  • Yoox Net a Porter

The Textiles Circularity Centre Advisory Group is a critical friend, providing independent and expert advice, and guidance on the overall research strategy of the Centre.

Five new centres were announced today as part of a £22.5 million government investment. They will explore how reusing waste materials in the textiles, construction, chemical and metal industries could deliver huge environmental benefits and boost the UK economy.

Circular economy centres to drive UK to a sustainable future

The Royal College of Art (RCA)-led consortium has been awarded a grant of £5.4m by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to establish the Textiles Circularity Centre (TCC) to enable the transition to a more ‘circular’ economy. 

RCA-led consortium awarded £5.4m by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to establish the Textiles Circularity Centre

Contact Us

Get in touch to find out more about the Textiles Circularity Centre and partnering on projects.

Email us at
[email protected]
Explore Future Lifecycles