The Trash-2-Cash family: Reporting from Workshop 11

Paper authors Wencke Gwozdz (second from left) and Tina Müller (third from left) at the T-2-C workshop in Bilbao

For the penultimate project workshop the Trash-2-Cash team were at the Textile Fashion Centre in Borås, Sweden. With its rich history in textile and fashion production, Borås was an inspiring and appropriate setting for us to discuss our final sampling and product prototypes for the six master cases; the final Trash-2-Cash products.


This workshop had quite a different format to its predecessors, with the aim of fine-tuning and completing the master case ‘stories’ in terms of business models, branding and marketing, final samples, and product prototypes. To understand how all of the different pieces of work hang together, we created a mini expo for each master case; a cloud formation involving 6 parts: 

  • People, Methods and Tools

  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

  • Business Case Development

  • Product Story

  • Prototypes 1 & 2 (development work)

  • Product & Prototype 3 (final work)

Each partner brought their work in hardcopy and we spent an hour at the beginning of day 1 populating these master case clouds. This was the first time we had seen everything together and the sense of excitement and achievement was clear to everyone in the room. It was the lightest and most joyful workshop by far (which perhaps isn’t surprising) but there was a real sense that all the hard work we had put in, to working with each other as well as on our individual tasks, has been worth it.


During day one we were guided through each master case by our Work Package 3 (design) and Work Package 5 (manufacturing) leaders Elina Ilen (Aalto Arts) and Virginie Boucher (Cidetec.) We looked at the new samples and discussed their presentation in the concluding expo at project partner VanBerlo’s Eindhoven offices during Dutch Design Week (DDW) in September.

The rest of the day was spent discussing the product stories and technical processes in separate disciplinary sessions before Prof Rebecca Earley (UAL) asked us to think about who our audiences are and how we can tell them the master case stories at DDW.

We spent a wonderful evening together at a Swedish sawmill, surrounded by the vernacular Falu (red) timber structure, before embarking on a busy day two schedule, focusing on building the business cases and finalizing the industrial processes necessary for the products to be realised. Whereas the emphasis on circularity earlier in the project had come through the Life Cycle Thinking Tool (LCT), now the focus is very much on LCT’s scientific counterpart: Life Cycle Analysis and so part of the afternoon was spent familiarizing the partners with the LCA flowcharts and identifying missing knowledge that can be provided within the consortium. This is the type of activity that cannot be done easily outside of the workshops. Seeing the flowcharts in large physical form, exchanging questions and suggestions about how to proceed and having RISE’s LCA experts Gustav and Bjorn there to explain help lubricate the knowledge flow in a way that Skype calls cannot.  


The final session was about the methodology, something intangible at first that has slowly grown into a substantial body of social research about how we work in an interdisciplinary way to develop circular materials. UAL and Aalto Arts began by presenting some of their key findings for the first time to the consortium. Rosie Hornbuckle (UAL) then guided the participants through a thought process exercise that enabled them to apply their experiences of interdisciplinary ‘design-driven’ work to the master cases. This resulted in each disciplinary team identifying which master case ‘most clearly demonstrates the design-driven methodology’, a finding that is essential for demonstrating, and to some extent validating, the way we have worked for these past three years.     

This workshop was different, not only in the work we did but also in the atmosphere. In the ‘tips and tops’ - a feedback exercise we carry out at the end of each workshop - people commented that it was the best workshop yet, that everyone was so familiar that it was like coming home. This may sound syrupy, but it was said with meaning and shows how much of themselves each person has invested in this process. It’s also testament to how well these experimental methods have supported the team, in knowledge integration, communication and also social and emotional connectivity. It’s an ‘outcome’ we couldn’t have imagined at the start, but it’s something we are very proud of.   

Come and see all six master cases at the Klokgebouw Cultuurhallen during Dutch Design Week, Saturday 20th October – Sunday 28th October 2018.  


Klokgebouw Cultuurhallen

Klokgebouw 50,

5617 AB Eindhoven,

The Netherlands