A Mistra Future Fashion Conference on Textile Design and the Circular Economy
23–24 November 2016
Chelsea College of Arts & Tate Britain, London

Circular Transitions aimed to create the vision of designing for a circular future where materials are designed, produced, used and disposed of in radical new ways. Circular Transitions was the first global event to bring together academic and industry research concerned with designing fashion textiles for the circular economy. The themes explored the design of new materials for fashion with approaches ranging from emerging technology and social innovation to systems design and tools.

‘Building on Mistra research begun in 2011 in Sweden, Circular Transitions will highlight global textile design innovation and signpost us towards a future where people and resources in the fashion industry are really understood and valued.’

Sigrid Barnekow, Deputy Director, Mistra Future Fashion Programme


Circular Transitions has been organised by Dr Kate Goldsworthy and Professor Rebecca Earley at University of the Arts London. It was part of a research project for the Mistra Future Fashion consortium - a cross-disciplinary program with the vision of closing the loop in fashion and creating systemic change in Swedish industry and culture.

The research program started in 2011 and Phase 2 (2015–2019) focuses on the circular economy and innovation within design, supply chain, consumer behaviour and recycling practices.


‘Designing for a circular economy is complex. Gone are the days of ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco’ design, when a simple change of material to a recycled alternative would give a project environmental credibility. Now, in order to understand all the facets of the problem, we need to talk to each of the stakeholders involved in the lifecycle of a particular product, for example chemists, material scientists, and people who run recycling plants.’

The Great Recovery (RSA)

‘Fashion is surely the most circular of industries. Right? Here’s my reasoning. Don’t throw anything away, it’ll come back into fashion …’

‘30% of our clothes are unworn, £5 billion of clothing lies unworn in British wardrobes, £140 million of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year (WRAP). It’s simple. Buy better, repair, swap, donate. Keeping things alive longer means buying better and looking after them.’

Mark Shayler, Green Ape


The Circular Transitions Academic Committee accepted over 50 papers for the conference. They have noe been published in the Circular Transitions Proceedings. Following the conference, a selection of papers will be developed further and published by Springer in a journal special issue.

Paper submission deadline: 31st July 2016
Feedback from Academic Review Committee: 16th September 2016
Final paper deadline: 24th October 2016

Any queries regarding the preparation of papers for Circular Transitions should be sent to info@circulartransitions.org.


We invite contributions that describe, explore and critique the following areas of interest:


Design which responds to technology, science, material developments.

  • Challenges and benefits of new modes of production
  • Opportunities for cleaner processes in the textile materials value chain
  • Innovation in textile recycling technology
  • Potential for digital tools and processes to enable a circular economy
  • Tracking and tracing solutions in a complex material recovery industry


Design for systems, services, models, business, networks and communities.

  • New modes of consumption; disruptive business models
  • Speed of product and material cycles; appropriate design
  • Design of products for the technical and/or biological cycle
  • Projects that explore successful industry / academic collaboration and also tensions between our traditional modes of competition and collaboration
  • Design creating more social equity within the circular supply chain


Design of behaviours; tools, frameworks and experiences to enable and support collaboration, mindset change and improve decision making.

  • Physical tools for facilitating collaboration across disciplines
  • Pioneering and enabling the changing role of the designer in a circular economy
  • Tools for designers to support the mindset and behaviour change of consumers
  • Design approaches towards well being that develop circular cultures
  • Opportunities for designers to bridge understanding of scientific tools (such as LCA)

‘In this interconnected process, unlimited materials can have unlimited life cycles, and the material exchange would be open, dynamic and include all material resources.’

Dr Kate Goldsworthy, framework for Design for Cyclability

‘As well as creating new opportunities for growth, a more circular economy will reduce waste, drive greater resource productivity, deliver a more competitive UK economy, position the UK to better address emerging resource security/scarcity issues in the future and help reduce the environmental impacts of our production and consumption in both the UK and abroad.’



Circular Transitions offers a full programme of high profile speakers, presentations of world leading research and interactive sessions, along with a networking drinks reception and conference dinner.

Day One will take place at Tate Britain, featuring keynote presentations from Sophie Thomas (Founding Director, Thomas Matthews), Cyndi Rhoades (Founder, Worn Again), and Elin Larsson (Sustainability Director, Filippa K), along with sessions in each of the Materials, Models and Mindset themes. This will be followed by a networking drinks reception in the Triangle Gallery at Chelsea College of Arts, and the conference dinner in the College's beautiful Banqueting Hall.

Day Two will take place at Chelsea College of Arts, where there will be a wide range of parallel sessions in the key themes of the conference, along with a keynote presentation.

The full conference programme will be released in August. Please sign up to the mailing list to receive updates on sessions and speakers, as they are announced.


Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG

Chelsea College of Arts

16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU


By Underground

Chelsea College of Arts and Tate Britain are a five-minute walk from Pimlico tube station and ten minutes from Vauxhall tube. Both tube stations are on the Victoria line.

More information on the tube system can be found on the Transport for London website.

By Bus

The number 2, C10, 36, 87, 88, 185, 436 all stop nearby

From the airport

We recommend using London Underground, buses and other public transport to travel from the airport into central London, however taxis from the airport are also available.

From Gatwick Airport

Take the train from the airport to London Victoria station. From here, the College is a fifteen-minute walk away, or one stop on the tube (Victoria line) to Pimlico station.

From Heathrow Airport

Take the Piccadilly line eastbound and change at Green Park for the southbound Victoria line tube to Pimlico.

From Stansted Airport

Take the train to Liverpool Street, and from there take the westbound Central line tube to Oxford Circus and change here for the southbound Victoria line tube to Pimlico.

From City Airport

Take the Docklands Light Railway west to Bank, change for the westbound Central line tube to Oxford Circus, before taking the southbound Victoria line tube to Pimlico.

From Luton Airport

Shuttle buses connect the airport to Luton Station, where you can catch a London-bound train to Wandsworth Road Station, changing once. From here you can catch the 87 bus towards Tate Britain, which is next door to the Chelsea College of Arts.


London has a wide range of hotel within a short travelling distance to the conference, however the following are located close to Chelsea College of Arts and Tate Britain:

Doubletree by Hilton London Westminster
£125.10 per night
30 John Islip Street

Park Plaza Riverbank London
£155 per night
18 Albert Embankment

Premier Inn London County Hall
£109 per night
County Hall, Belvedere Road

Travelodge London Vauxhall
£99 per night
3 Bondway
Vauxhall SW8 1SJ

Dolphin Square
£99 per night
Chichester Street

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