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.


Lost in the Wood(s) book launch and seminar event


T2C partner and host of the next T2C workshop in Helsinki, Aalto Arts are celebrating the launch of a new biomaterial-focused publication Lost in the Wood(s), a new Biomateriality in Finland with a seminar event at Design Museum Helsinki next month. 


Taking place September 19th, the seminar agenda includes a series of talks by T2C partners, including: Presenting the Trash-2-Cash project by Emma Östmark, Director of Sustainable Textile Fibres at the RISE Research Institute of Sweden; Interdisciplinary collaboration for material innovation by Christian Tubito, Project Manager of Research & Innovation at Material Connexion Italy; Waste-free future of the fashion industry - the chemistry behind it by Michael Hummel, Staff Scientist at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering; and The need of improvements in textile sorting of garments for textile-to-textile recycling by Helena Wedin, Researcher at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

The second part of the event presents the new Aalto ARTS Books publication Lost in the Wood(s), edited by Pirjo Kääriäinen and Liisa Tervinen. Through inspiring case studies (including the T2C project) and stories from researchers working intimately with biomaterials, the book explores how Finland’s natural resource – renewable biomaterials, such as cellulose – could replace oil-based resources and create new business and service models through design and collaboration.

The seminar and book launch coincide with the current Biomateriality Lab installation, part of Design Museum Helsinki's Enter and Encounter exhibition, exploring new, primarily wood-based, Finish biomaterials developed through multidisciplinary research projects at Aalto University. The exhibition is open until 22nd October 2017.

Buy the book from the Aalto Arts online shop.

Time: Tuesday 19th September, 15:00 - 18:00
Location: Design Museum Helsinki auditorium, Korkeavuorenkatu 23, Helsinki, Finland
Organizers: Professor Kirsi Niinimäki, Team Leader of the Fashion/Textile FUTURES research group, Aalto University, and Pirjo Kääriäinen, Designer in Residence at the Fashion/Textile FUTURES research group, Aalto University