Trash-2-Cash Master Case: ReAct mid-layer


With the Trash-2-Cash project coming to its conclusion, we will be exhibiting the results of our research for the very first time during Dutch Design Week 2018, which opens this week. In the run up to the show we’re revealing each of the 6 Master Case ‘stories’ and their prototype product solutions. First up, the ReAct mid-layer.

Master Case summary

Performance layers are soft and functional, wicking moisture away from the wearer’s skin. But unfortunately the materials currently used for mid-layer garments have large environmental impacts. This alternative mid-layer material made from recycled cotton has hydrophobic properties added to the fibre, ensuring sustainability does not compromise performance.


The challenge

Performance layers are a fairly recent addition to our wardrobes, they cleverly wick away moisture to keep skin dry. Currently, this type of garment tends to be made from virgin polyester using fossil crude oil as a raw material.

Cellulosic fibres however, are incredibly soft on the skin and have a natural cooling effect, but they also hold onto moisture rather than wick it away. So the challenge was to make a cool, moisture-wicking, Ioncell-F fabric from waste cotton, which was also soft, quick-drying and recyclable.

The innovation

To do this, Trash-2-Cash fibre scientists needed to make the fabric ‘hydrophobic’, which literally means ‘water-fearing’. This could have been achieved using current finishing processes that apply additional chemical treatments to the fabric. However, to develop a low-impact garment, the scientists instead used a breakthrough technology that put the moisture management properties directly into the fibres at a molecular level to produce hydrophobic fibres.

Trash-2-Cash? About the project

As we all know, one resource that’s becoming more abundant is waste. The idea of recycling textile waste has been popular for decades, but current mechanical methods give poor quality fabrics suitable only for industrial applications, like insulation, and the upcycling of pre-consumer textile waste into products is impossible to scale. 

Trash-2-Cash (T2C) proposes a new model where textile waste is regenerated chemically - resulting in new plastics and textiles that are the same quality as new materials, to make products that are industrially replicable and infinitely recyclable.

Come to our showcase at Klokgebouw during Dutch Design Week 2018 and decide for yourselves whether we have been able to make trash in to cash!


The consortium:

Academic and industry designers have been collaborating with scientists and engineers over the last three years to produce these new materials from textile waste. It’s a project that is as much about the way in which these people collaborate as what they have produced together. 

The 18 partners from 10 countries are showing six brand new material prototypes comprised of new, recycled and recyclable apparel and automotive materials and concepts. We are also sharing a new way of working – Design-Driven Material Innovation (DDMI) – outlining how science, design and industry can input into the process from beginning to end.

Trash-2-Cash is a collaboration of the following organisations:

-      Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland

-      IK4-CIDETEC Technology Centre, IK4 Research Alliance, Spain

-      The Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark

-      Grado Zero Innovation (GZI), Italy

-      MAIER, Spain

-      Material ConneXion Italia Srl, Italy

-      Reima, Finland

-      RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

-      Celanese, Italy

-      SOEX, Germany

-      SÖKTAŞ, Turkey

-      Swerea, IVF, Sweden (from October 1st2018, RISE,Sweden)

-      TEKO, Sweden

-      Tekstina, Slovenia

-      University of the Arts London (UAL), United Kingdom

-      VanBerlo,The Netherlands

-      VTT, Finland


About Dutch Design Week:

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. The biggest design event in Northern Europe presents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 335,000 visitors from home and abroad. In more than hundred locations across the city, DDW organises and facilitates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates and festivities.


Exhibition details:

Saturday 20th October – Sunday 28th October 2018

Opening hours: 11:00 – 18:00


Klokgebouw Cultuurhallen

Klokgebouw 50,

5617 AB Eindhoven,

The Netherlands


DDW ‘Basic’ ticket:

€16 ‘early bird’ ticket booked before 20th September from

€18 full price advance purchase tickets

€20 at the door


Students receive a 30% discount. Premium tickets are also available from the DDW website.