What is World Circular Textiles Day?

The world is waking up to circularity, specifically for textiles; we know this to be true. But there has been a distinct need for a more positive outlook on achieving it: visceral motivation; vigorous collectivism; incisive joined-up thinking.

WCTD, which takes place on 8th October every year, is about exploring circularity progress from around the world across three themes, Products & Services, Materials and People. We are here to report, reflect and celebrate on the progress that circularity is making, and to create a roadmap to get to full textiles circularity by 2050.

World Circular Textiles Day was co-founded in 2020 by the following organisations.

Circle Economy is a not-for-profit business based in Amsterdam with a mission to empower a global community of businesses, cities and governments to accelerate the transition to the circular economy through practical and scalable insights and solutions that address humanity’s greatest challenges.

The Centre for Circular Design is a research group based at the University Arts London. Design research for circular materials, models and mindsets. CCD aims to accelerate the transition towards designing for a circular future where textiles, materials and ‘things’ are designed, produced, used and disposed of in radical new ways.

Worn Again is a UK based technology innovation company which has developed a unique polymer recycling technology which separates, decontaminatess and extracts polyester and cellulose (from cotton) from non-reusable textiles. The dual PET and cellulose outputs can be reintroduced into supply chains to become new fibre, textiles and products as part of a continual cycle.



Gwen Cunningham

Lead Textiles Programme, Circle Economy
Co-founder, World Circular Textiles Day

Gwen Cunningham

Gwen Cunningham is Lead Textiles Programme at the social enterprise Circle Economy focussed on accelerating the transition towards a circular textile industry.She has a double First Class Honours degree in Fashion Design and Visual Culture from The National College of Art and Design, Ireland. 

A drive to inspire and change the textile industry led her to Circle Economy. She believes that while new methods of design, finishing/production technologies and material innovation are key to accelerating the transition toward a circular textiles industry. A collaborative cross-supply chain approach is needed to fully realise this change- creating and nurturing these synergies is a cornerstone goal of hers, and of the Circular Textiles Program in general. 

As Lead of the Textiles Programme at Circle Economy, her main focus is the active development of the market, through close collaboration with key stakeholders within the fashion and textile supply chain. Gwen delves into the various projects the cooperative has been pioneering in with its members and partners. From the optimisation of the Fibersort, a technology that is able to sort post-consumer textiles according to fiber type, to the development of an online material matchmaker, Circle Market.

Becky Earley

UAL Chair of Circular Design Futures
Co-Founder, Centre for Circular Design, UAL
Co-founder, World Circular Textiles Day

Professor Becky Earley

Becky is a design researcher and award-winning research team leader at University of the Arts London. She is based at Chelsea College of Arts where she is Co-Director of Centre for Circular Design (CCD).

Becky's practice research encompasses making materials and prototypes, exhibition curation and writing. She is also a highly skilled workshop facilitator and communicator, specialising in the translation of cross disciplinary design-led research into commercial contexts for sustainable fashion textiles and other fields. She particularly enjoys the challenge of educating and inspiring all kinds of audiences into more sustainable choices and actions towards circular futures.

She trained as a printed textile designer (BA Hons, Loughborough, 1992) and fashion print designer (MA, Central Saint Martins, 1994), before setting up her B.Earley London-based studio in 1995, with support from the Prince's Trust, Arts Council and the Crafts Council. In the late 90’s she created her award-winning low-impact, ‘exhaust printed’ recycled textiles. Her creative fashion textile work has been widely exhibited over the last twenty years; her prints and garments are collected by museums across the globe including MFIT in New York, RISD Museum, as well as the V&A and Crafts Council in London and the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford)

Kate Goldsworthy

UAL Chair of Circular Design and Innovation
Co-founder, Centre for Circular Design, UAL
Co-founder, World Circular Textiles Day

Dr Kate Goldsworthy

Kate is a designer and academic working to bridge materials science, industry and design through multidisciplinary & practice-led research.

Goldsworthy is a designer and academic whose research bridges materials science, industry and design. Her methods are transdisciplinary & practice-led, with a focus on materials and manufacturing innovation in circular economy contexts. She co-founded the Centre for Circular Design, University of the Arts London (UAL) with Prof Rebecca Earley.

She is also Deputy Director of the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology partnership (BFTT, 2018-23), funded by the UK Industrial Strategy (£5.5m) and managed by the AHRC. Other research income achieved to date totals over £2m, including awards for: Transdisciplinary Design Research (EU H2020, Mistra Foundation, AHRC) and Industry R&D Projects (AHRC, Mistra Foundation, Materials KTN).  She was a member of the EPSRC Forum in Manufacturing Research (2016-2020) and is a regular reviewer for the EU Commission, UKRI/EPSRC, and Design Journal. She advises on policy groups and industry boards, including a long-standing relationship with Worn Again Technologies, where she currently serves as vice chair of their Circular Advisory Panel.

Having worked in the design industry for over ten years, in 2012 she completed the first UK practice-based doctorate focused on ‘designing textiles for the circular economy’. Since then she has continued to explore future manufacturing and recovery contexts through collaborative and design-led research. Her creative work has been exhibited & collected internationally. and commissions include The Science Museum, The V&A and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Through recent research projects, Mistra Future Fashion (2015-2019) and the EU funded Trash-2-Cash (2015-2018), Kate and the CCD team continue to explore the potential for design to drive a more circular materials economy. This includes devising collaboration tools and methods for engaging stakeholders from all parts of the materials value chain as well as hands-on material and process development. She is also interested in the potential for digitisation and new production models to provide more sustainable future manufacturing visions. Nonwovens production, hi-tech finishing processes and chemical recycling developments are all part of this remit. Her approach is practice-based, always placing making at the centre of her research, and collaborative, often across disciplines or embedded in industry contexts through knowledge exchange projects.

Cyndi Rhoades

Founder, Worn Again Technologies
Co-founder, World Circular Textiles Day

Cyndi Rhoades

Cyndi Rhoades began her career as a film maker in music videos and documentaries which over time evolved into a deep interest in the impacts of commerce and global economics on society and the environment. These interests led to the formation of Worn Again (later to become Worn Again Technologies), which she founded in 2005 with a determination to create a business out of solving the global problem of textiles waste. Since 2012, the company has been in development of a polymer recycling technology for polyester and cotton textiles while building connections with global brands, supply chain producers and strategic investors aligned with the vision of eradicating waste and replacing the use of virgin resources for textiles. 

Cyndi is an ardent advocate of textiles circularity, a thought leader and a regular public speaker, including at McKinsey’s Fashion & Luxury Roundtable at COP26 and at the Financial Times’ Climate Capital.  She is an award winning entrepreneur: in 2021, Cyndi was selected as one of ten global honourees for the Conscious Fashion Campaign, an initiative of the Fashion Impact Fund.  In 2020 she became an Unreasonable Fellow, was awarded the PCIAW Outstanding Contribution to the Textile Industry and, in 2019, was a finalist for the World Economic Forum’s Circulars Leadership award. She represented Worn Again as an awardee for Launch, the US based initiative founded by Nike, NASA and IDEO. 

Cyndi is an early pioneer of the sustainable fashion movement, a co-Founder of the RE:Fashion Awards, the world’s first Sustainable Fashion Awards, and more recently a co-Founder of World Circular Textiles Day



Karen Shakespeare-Fletcher

Signatory Liaison and EA

Mark Mapstone

Web Developer

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WCTD is a non-profit collaboration which is voluntarily run as a project by its Co-Founders. Any funds generated for WCTD are processed through Circle-8 (UK Registered Company No. 12667228) and are reinvested into the WCTD project activities. 


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