Collaboration between designers, scientists & manufacturers

Reima Aalto University VTT SWEREA TEKO RISE Copenhagen Business School SOEX VanBerlo Maier Cidetec Tekstina Material ConneXion Grado Zero Celanese SÖKTAŞ UAL


Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, is a community of bold thinkers in the fields of technology, business, art and design. It is known for its research and industrial collaborative projects, integrating design into Finnish innovation and business networks.

The University is made up of 6 schools, with nearly 20,000 students and 4,700 employees, 390 of which are professors. The Aalto University campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland. Aalto’s vision is to rank among the top universities in the world, and to strive towards a better world.

Aalto Chem and Aalto Arts are the departments involved in Trash-2-Cash.

Aalto Chem: Areas of emphasis for the School of Chemical Engineering include environment-friendly and energy-efficient processes, the diverse utilisation of wood and other biomaterials, new materials and their application, new engine fuels, the shaping of micro-organisms and enzymes as well as novel pharmaceuticals and biomaterials.

Aalto Arts: The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries and one of the most prestigious in the whole world. The school researches design, digital media, audiovisual presentation, art education and visual culture. The viewpoint of usefulness forms the foundation of artistic activity.

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Celanese is a global technology and specialty materials company made up of engineers, scientists, operators and product developers.

They produce products that make lives a little easier, by helping customers to bring their inspired ideas and innovations to life. From the global production network of their Acetyl Chain, they provide materials that are critical to the global chemicals and paints and coatings industries. From their broad portfolio of Materials Solutions, they advance automotive and consumer electronic designs and enable life-improving medical, food and beverage products – they offer solutions to their customers to help them succeed.

Celanese a global technology and specialty materials company, it has acquired SO.F.TER. SpA (SOFTER) one of the world’s largest independent thermoplastic compounders since 1980, whose production facilities are located in Italy, Mexico, Brazil and USA.

SOFTER is an Italian large enterprise and one of the major independent compounders of thermoplastics in Europe with a product portfolio that ranges from extremely soft thermoplastic rubbers to high performance engineering rigid plastics. The company has a great expertise in the development and production of polymers-based materials and it is also considered the ideal technical partner in co-design activities of final products thanks to its high operational flexibility and to its tailor-made approach to the design of materials. SOFTER employs over 270 persons and is certified according to ISO 9001:2008. Find out more information here

On the Trash-2-Cash project SOFTER will take part in activities linked to the recycling of polyester textiles recovered from post-consumer waste streams.


CIDETEC Technology Centre is a member of IK4 Research Alliance, an expert in the generation and transfer of knowledge and technology in the fields of materials, surfaces and energy. The Centre’s fundamental mission is to increase, through the development of new products and processes, the capacity for innovation and competitiveness of industrial companies.

IK4-CIDETEC work as strategic partners with their customers, helping them in defining their innovation strategies and generating added value knowledge and technological solutions. In order to achieve these objectives, the centre is committed to excellence at work, a highly motivated and skilled team and active collaboration with other technology partners at national and international level. At present the centre counts on a staff of 125 employees, of whom 95% are university graduates and 50% hold a PhD. The volume of activity of the Foundation in 2014 was 10 million euros.

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The Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is the leading Danish business school one of the three largest business schools in Northern Europe. Built in 1917 as a privately financed institution, CBS became part of the national university system in 1965. Its fifteen specialised departments cover a broad range of fields on economics and business administration, the social sciences, and the humanities.

Copenhagen Business School Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) is one of Europe’s top class research environments on issues of CSR. cbsCSR’s active participation in international associations such as for example The Academy of Management (US) and as founding partner of The Academy of Management in Society (EABIS, Europe) has contributed to an extensive US and European network. cbsCSR is involved in a number of national and international projects, including Mistra Future Fashion II, Co-Creating social entrepreneurship, EU-Innovate, I.Family, Nudge-It, I4S. CbsCSR is part of the Department of Intercultural Communication and Development (ICM). Most recently, the cbsCSR/ ICM Research Initiative Governing Responsible Business has been selected as one of two new so-called CBS World Class Research Environments Programme 2014-2018. The sustainable consumption group – a part of the ICM research environment cbsCSR-  works mainly on health behaviour and sustainable fashion consumption in interdisciplinary, large scale projects, and will lead on business evaluation, environmental issues and consumer potential of developed design concepts for Trash-2-Cash project.


Grado Zero Innovation (GZI) is an Italian SME, performing in a business to business approach, applied Research and Development, and designing and scaling-up production of innovative materials and final products. GZI houses a multi-disciplinary team that has specialist expertise in chemistry, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and product and interaction design. GZI is able to offer a 360° design service, from the development of the Proof of Concept, to the industrial value chain analysis of the final product.

GZI champion in creating personalized finished leather and textile products, highlighting the local handcraft value and the ethical issues. In this field they apply ECO Design, Design for reuse, Life Cycle Assessment and Eco-efficiency analysis. GZI believe that product life cycle and reuse of materials is fundamental for a more sustainable world.

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MAIER is a producer of decorated aesthetical thermoplastic components for the automotive industry, with up to 2,000 employees in 8 countries and global sales of over 212M€. Maier will work with their research centre, MTC, (Maier Technology Centre) to deliver Trash-2-Cash. MTC is an R&D company from Maier Group dedicated to the research and development in the field of thermoplastic injection moulding, decorative and assembly technologies, and analysis and implementation of production facilities for automotives.

As the end-user of automotive applications, the objectives of Trash-2-Cash coincide very well with Maier’s own target of specialising in the production of injection moulded thermoplastic components and subunits with decorative finishes for interior automotive applications. Maier will actively participate in working on the industrial manufacturing of prototypes and investigating up-scaling and validation for the automotive sector, and they will also support the project as trends translator for the automotive sector. MTC will assist Maier in the tasks of specification and requirement definition for the automotive interior components, testing the processability and thermomechanical performance of the materials at lab scale and designing the suitable surface treatment.


MATERIAL CONNEXION ITALIA Srl Material ConneXion® is the largest research and consulting centre for innovative and sustainable materials and processes with offices in the US, Europe, and Asia. Material ConneXion® promotes the creation of a network system between material manufacturers and potential users by supporting the latter in the search of material solutions for their projects, while offering manufacturers a unique and non conventional channel of visibility.

Material ConneXion® has the largest material library of advanced, innovative and sustainable materials and processes in the world which are available by subscription for finding technical and commercial information on new materials. MCI offers various services, such as consulting, promotion, training, and special projects. For more information On the Trash-2-Cash project, Material ConneXion® will establish material attributes for product design and applied design methodology.

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Reima is the leading Nordic children’s functional clothing brand in Finland. Founded in 1944, they have designed, developed and produced numerous product ranges; Reima®outerwear, innerwear, accessories, shoes and bags are sold in over 20 countries. They also own the trademark Lassie®. The company Reima Oy employs approximately 222 people and reached ca. EUR 75.4 million in net sales in 2014. Functionality, safety, reliability and innovation are fundamental to Reima designs. Reima®products are tried and tested by the world’s most honest and ruthless testing team – children themselves.

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RISE Research Institutes of Sweden ensures the competitiveness of the Swedish business community on an international level and contributes to a sustainable society, through its international collaboration programmes with academia, industry, and the public sector. There are 2,200 employees to support and promote all manner of innovative processes, and roughly 100 testbeds and demonstration facilities which are instrumental in developing the future-proofing of products, technologies, and services. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is fully owned by the Swedish state.


SOEX is the global leader in the field of used textile marketing and recycling, with offices and shareholdings in 7 countries and more than 1,000 employees, the SOEX GROUP has been giving a new lease on life to used clothing for over 30 years. With subsidiaries and shareholdings, the SOEX GROUP covers the entire value chain for used textile collection, recycling, reuse and marketing on 6 continents. SOEX will supply post-consumer textiles for the Trash-2-Cash project.

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SÖKTAŞ is a specialist designer and producer of cotton and cotton blended fabrics. Founded in 1971 and listed on the Turkish Stock Exchange in 1995, their reputation was built on shirting fabrics which they export around the world. SÖKTAŞ expertise has broadened into fabrics for contemporary jackets and trousers. They produce innovative R&D, design, presentation and archiving capabilities, with archives spanning over 300,000 fabrics, which is an invaluable resource.

The service that SÖKTAŞ provides is made possible by the control of the entire production chain; yarn spinning, twisting, dyeing, weaving, design and finishing. Development of original yarns and new blends is a priority, enabling them to offer customers world firsts in fabrics such as exceptional cottons blended with fine wool, silk and linen. They use a new super premium cotton yarn that is made from a hybrid seed grown on their land. It was co-developed with the Cotton Research Institute and produces a strong, fine, silky cotton fibre to rival most of the Egyptian Giza varieties. SÖKTAŞ design fabrics that offer luxury at every level for small and large quantity orders. SÖKTAŞ also has a luxury cotton fabric retail business in India, with its strong tradition of bespoke tailoring and fabric retailing. Is now serviced by its own production mill in Kolhapur, offering specific service delivery and fast turnaround for Indian and Indonesian markets.

SÖKTAŞ’s main tasks in the project are: the supply of cotton to textile waste, research on recycling products, fabric production from recycled yarn, laboratory testing and production of prototypes.

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Swerea IVF is a non-profit research institute based in Sweden, offering qualified research and consultancy services within the core areas of the manufacturing industry. Their research focus is on product, process, and production development. The main mission of Swerea IVF is to create, refine, supply and promptly implement new techniques and new working methods. Swerea IVF offers expert knowledge of materials properties and applications regarding a wide range of materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers and textiles.

The textile department of Swerea IVF conduct R&D work that covers characterization of chemical, physical and mechanical properties of fibrous and polymeric materials, production technologies of textiles, plastics, nonwovens and rubber products and their waste management. Melt spinning of fibres is a core competence of Swerea IVF as well as polymer physics, chemistry and melt rheology. Swerea IVF has extensive laboratory facilities for melt spinning, melt blowing and evaluation of fibres, as well as for melt compounding and rheological characterization. They also undertake intensive research on wet spinning of cellulosic fibres. Both laboratory scale and pilot scale wet spinning lines are equipped in Swerea IVF.

Within this project, Swerea IVF will undertake the research on the chemical recycling of polyester textile waste and investigate the processability of the molecular weight upgraded polyester by melt spinning and melt blowing technology.


TEKO, the Swedish Textile and Clothing Industry Association, is the common trade and employers organisation for the Swedish textile and fashion companies. TEKO is based in Stockholm and has 10 regional offices located across the country.

TEKO represents the industry both nationally and internationally in all matters of best common work practice, including business support for the Swedish textile industry. The main task is to provide service and information to company members regarding contract areas, the labor market, environmental issues and the EU’s core business. TEKO has a good working relationship with the Nordic sister organisations, and is a member of Swedish Enterprise and the Office of cooperation with the Engineering Industries.


Tekstina, based in Slovenia, is the leading European supplier of engineered textile solutions. Tekstina is made up of a highly qualified R&D team that have a wide range of cross-industry experience. They work in close collaboration with customers, Universities and research institutions, and design, develop, test and deliver a wide variety of fabrics to many international leading companies.

Tekstina’s specialist knowledge has resulted in the creation of many unique and acclaimed globally applied products. They provide pragmatic advice on the material and fibre selection process, and offer insight for future applications.

Tekstina has two main laboratories: a mechanical laboratory for testing the mechanical parameter of materials (tensile strength, elongation, abrasion, colour fastness, washing, martindale, piling etc), and a chemical laboratory where they dye at laboratory scale, measure colour, test basic wastewater parameters, and test wastewater purification methods. These test are carried out for industry.

For the Trash-2-Cash project, Tekstina will be creating new fabric constructions using modern weaving technologies and different yarns blends and counts. They will test different fabrics finishings using pre-treatments, and dying and printing technologies.


University of the Arts London (UAL) is Europe's largest specialist Arts and Design University, bringing together six arts, design, fashion and media Colleges: Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon College of Arts and the London College of Communication. The university moves seamlessly between the rigour of academia and the dynamism of the creative industries. UAL staff comprises professional artists, practitioners, designers and critics offering unique opportunities to create, research and innovate across a whole range of creative disciplines. 

Centre for Circular Design (CCD) is the UAL research group in Trash-2-Cash. CCD is an experienced team of practice-led and theory-based researchers who have worked on a wide range of cross-disciplinary projects with academic and industry partners to develop strategies and new knowledge around textile design for the circular economy. 

In Trash-2-Cash CCD researchers will use their experience in 'Interconnected Design Thinking' to facilitate design workshops (WP1), and build theory around applied interdisciplinary design methodologies (WP3). They will apply their knowledge of 'design thinking for the circular economy' to translate material and process insights into design concepts for sector specific products with effective lifecycles (WP3). In addition, CCD's track record in communicating research using appropriate media to wide audiences will come to the fore as they lead WP8, ensuring T2C knowledge reaches all of the relevant stakeholders in this groundbreaking research. 


VanBerlo is your creative and strategic partner. Coming onboard with us, you will join a wide variety of international players. From the ‘big-boys’ to the driven start-up companies. From brands that are going places to organisations that want to make a difference in a given community. Together, we can meet challenges head-on to build reliable bridges between human needs and desires, between technological opportunities and sustainable business.


VTT is the largest internationally networked R&D centre for applied research in Northern Europe. Based in Finland it harnesses high-technology to develop scientific solutions for sustainable development in order to create new business opportunities. VTT’s mission is to produce research and innovation services that enhance the international competitiveness of companies, society and other customers as well as to create the prerequisites for society’s sustainable development, employment and wellbeing.

In 2014 VTT established 3 business areas: Knowledge intensive products and services (KIPS), Smart industry and energy systems (IND), and Solutions for natural resources and environment (SONE). SONE aims to be one of the global key players in the fields of bioeconomy and cleantech through networking with the best international partners. The main goal is to develop innovations for industrial ecosystems to support the utilization of natural resources. Industrial biotechnology, biofuel and bioenergy concepts, biomass and food processing technologies as well as process technology and environmental engineering are the core research focus areas. The research is supported by unique lab and pilot infrastructure in chemical processing, industrial biotechnology, biofuel production as well as fibre and composite technologies.

Within the Trash-2-Cash project, VTT is working on technical methods for eco-regeneration (from recycled materials to fibres). Based on expert knowledge of forest industry processes and chemical process engineering, VTT will define and demonstrate refining processes as well fractionate polyester and cotton from textile material.