PLATE Conference: Product Lifetimes and the Environment

TU Delft University 

TU Delft University 


Three of Trash-2-Cash’s key academic researchers, Associate Prof. Kirsi Niinimäki of Aalto University, Finland, Prof. Rebecca Earley and Dr Kate Goldsworthy of UAL, London, have been invited to present papers at the 2nd PLATE Conference to be held at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft, The Netherlands, November 8 –10, 2017.


PLATE is an international conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment which Prof. Tim Cooper of Nottingham Trent University set up in 2015. He understood that moving to a more circular economy and increasing product longevity are key areas to explore in relation to a sustainable future.

Rebecca Earley and Kate Goldsworthy, co-directors of the Centre for Circular Design (CCD), are presenting a paper entitled, Playing for Time: seven practice-led workshop tools for making design decisions to extend the life of fashion textile materials and products as part of Mistra Future Fashion research.

The academic duo, throughout their careers have transferred practice into theory and vice versa in the field of sustainable textiles. The paper presents 7 inventive design tools to support fashion textile designers from a variety of backgrounds to extend the life of a garment. The tools range from design strategy cards through to lifecycle assessment approaches which include the use of metaphorical Speeding Tickets. These playful and creative methods are designed to enable the development of a design concept on paper for a product with an extended life.

The subject of slow fashion and long life is further discussed by the keynote speaker Kirsi Niinimäki in her paper entitled, Fast or slow? Fashion lifecycles in a circular economy context. Kirsi will be talking in depth about the differing methodological approaches and systems thinking in relation to fashion speeds.

Her research focuses on a holistic understanding of sustainable fashion and textile fields and connections between design, manufacturing, business models and consumption. The fashion/textile research group that she heads at Aalto University is involved in several significant research projects, which integrate closed loop, bio economy and circular economy approaches in fashion and textile systems.

Both papers reveal an immense depth of knowledge and creative inventiveness that have the potential to have a real impact on the future of sustainable textiles.