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Burning news related to Fashion/Textile Futures research group.
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Follow BioColour seminar streaming 14.10.2021

BioColour - Exploring sustainable colour

October 14, 2021

Biocolour – Exploring Sustainable Colour seminar is both an introduction to the exhibition of the same name (Valo and Katve 1 and 2 galleries, Arktikum, Rovaniemi 14.10.-5.12.) and an independent opening to various themes of sustainable color and biocolourants. The seminar program includes presentations about the backgrounds of the exhibition, research fields related to biocolours as well as future visions of colour by various experts in science, art, design, and education. We also hear presentations by people working with biocolourants. Welcome to follow seminar streaming


Designed for circularity

Designed for circularity webinar recording

September 9, 2021

Does textile waste and circular economy make out the basis of success for the fashion of the future?  Associate Professor of design and fashion, Kirsi Niinimäki from Aalto University in Helsinki, led the discussion with Petri Alava/Infinited Fiber Company, Elina Ibounig/Marimekko, Laura Roman/Halti and Ina Budde/Circular.Fashion

The webinar was organised in collaboration with FINIX project and the Embassy of Finland, Berlin.


Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of design, MA Essi Karell

The title of the thesis is Closing the Loop through Clothing Design: Wishful Thinking or Achievable Practice?

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Blue fabric scraps and yarn against blue background.
NewSilk Youtube video.png
The New Road to Silk: Bio-based production of silk like materials | Video by Fotoni Film 2021

NEWSILK project 

The New Road to Silk: Bio-based production of silk like materials

May 6, 2021

Three and half year's Academy of Finland funded project NEWSILK has ended.  In the project, material researchers worked together with designers with the aim to produce new types of silk-like materials in the context of synthetic biology. What makes sense in interdisciplinary collaboration between disciplines? How materials will be made in the future? How we can learn from the nature?

Please watch our outcomes on Youtube.

Hidden photovoltaics enables freedom to design e-textiles

The Sun-powered Textiles project explores a practical and scalable solar cell textile technology

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A close-up image of a woven textile structure to be used to cover the solar cell.

Open position in FTF - read more!

Multidisciplinary project 'Shimmering wood' shortlisted in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards

Shimmering wood is an innovation of Noora Yau and Konrad Klockars.

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Shimmering wood
Photo by Bettina Blomstedt

Collaboration between Aalto and small businesses: Case of Sun-powered Textiles

April 29, 2021

Sun-powered Textiles project was featured in Fab-magazine (4/2021) with project specialist Elina Ilén sharing her insights on the collaboration between Aalto and small businesses.

Check the full article here.

Photo by Bettina Blomstedt. 

Open call for Sustainability journal

Special Issue "Sustainable Textiles and Garments in the Context of a Circular Economy: Extended Use, Material Circulation and New Business Understanding" 

This Special Issue will focus on sustainable textile and fashion in the context of a circular economy, and therefore, we expect to receive contributions especially from the following themes:

  •     How to slow down the system;
  •     How to extend the use time of textiles and garments;
  •     How to improve the recyclability of textiles and garments;
  •     How to construct new business models linking to a circular economy.

Deadline: 30th of November, 2021.

Editors for this special Issue are Kirsi Niinimäki and Natalia Moreira.

More information here

Going beyond cotton

Aalto University part of a consortium that harnesses collaboration and cutting-edge technology to create circular fashion.

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New Cotton Project

Theses: Threading the needle – together!

Taking care of your clothes is an environmental act, says Marium Durrani. Communal clothing repair workshops are popular around the world and have now landed also in Finland to push against unsustainable fast fashion practices.

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Marium Durrani ompelemassa käsin vaatekappaletta, jossa on kukkakuosi.
Finix projekti | Kestävä vaate -kampanja
Finix project | Sustainable garment campaign

Sustainable garment campaign

April 9, 2020

At the time of COVID-19 pandemic, Finix project aims to support sustainable Finnish textile and clothing businesses through Sustainable garment campaign (kestävä vaate -kampanja). For this purpose, members of the Finix project created a list of businesses, which hopefully will survive over the crisis and continue working towards more sustainable clothing and textile industry in the future. The campaign is shared through social media with the hashtag #kestävävaate.

More information (in Finnish):

A smart jumpsuit provides information on infants’ movement and development

A new innovation by University of Helsinki and Aalto University makes it possible, for the first time, to quantitatively assess children’s spontaneous movement in the natural environment.

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lapsi älypotkupuvussa kuva: sampsa vanhatalo / helsingin yliopisto

Revival of garment mending: communal reskilling addresses global issues of textile waste

Dissertation of the month: Mending clothes, one of the oldest practices known to humankind, nowadays stands for global awareness of the textile waste problem.

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Marium Durrani
Symposium Fashion and Design for Sustainability
Symposium Fashion and Design for Sustainability | Fashion & Technology research group | Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Fashion and Design for Sustainability: Research and Practice

November 27, 2019, Amsterdam

FTF group leader Kirsi Niinimäki will give a speech in the  symposium Fashion and Design for Sustainability : Research and Practice that takes place in Amsterdam later this autumn. The symposium is linked to Irene Maldini's PhD ceremony, bringing together four international professors in fashion and design for sustainability including Kirsi Niinimäki,  Tim Cooper, Kate Fletcher and Conny Backer who will all reflect on the relationship between research and practice in these fields, building on examples of their own work.

The professors will also act as opponents in Maldini's public defence titled as Can design confront consumerism? A critical study of clothing volumes , personalisation, and the wardrobe, taking place on November 26.

PLATE 2019
Kirsi Niinimäki introducing the keynote speaker Otto von Busch at PLATE conference. Photo: Fraunhofer IZM 2019

PLATE 2019 Conference

September 18-20, 2019, Berlin

The 3rd international PLATE conference gathered over 200 participants to Berlin to share their insights of product lifetimes and sustainable practices in the development, production, use, reuse and recycling of products from various fields. In the conference, FTF members Kirsi Niinimäki, Marium Durrani and Essi Karell presented the following research papers focusing on repair and clothing design practices:

Durrani, M., Niinimäki, K. & McLaughlan, S. (2019). Designing for and with Garment Repair: an Exploration of Future Possibilities.

Karell, E. & Niinimäki, K. (2019). Deconstructing the Clothing Design Process for a Circular Economy.

Design Culture Salon: Can design research save the planet?

September 11, 2019, Helsinki Design Week

As part of Helsinki Design Week's official programme, Finland’s leading design researchers from Aalto University debated how design could address the global ecological crisis. "What is needed so that design research has an impact on the ‘real world’? How might design profession benefit? How can design researchers work with others in new ways to address the urgent challenges of climate change, and what are the implications?"

The discussion was moderated by Guy Julier, Professor of Design Leadership from Aalto, and accompanied by Eeva Berglund, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy, Michael Lettenmeier, sustainability consultant and author of 1.5 Degree Lifestyles, Mikko Jalas, Professor of Sustainable Consumption, Ramia Maze, Professor of New Frontiers in Design and Kirsi Niinimäki, Professor of Fashion.

More about Design Culture Salon.

Tomorrow's Sustainable Lifestyles Showcased in Otaniemi

One of Helsinki Design Week's main events, Designs for a Cooler Planet, will showcase Aalto University's cross-cutting future prototypes, such as a nanocellulose bicycle, microbial headphones and Ioncell clothes

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Nanocellulose bicycle Photo: Eeva Suorlahti
Pukeudu puuhun - SuomiAreena 2019
Pukeudu puuhun - kestävyyttä vaatebisnekseen | SuomiAreena 2019 | Suomen Akatemia

Dress up in wood - sustainability into fashion business

July 18, 2019, Pori

Doctoral Candidate Essi Karell joined SuomiAreena's panel discussion 'Dress up in wood - sustainability into fashion business'. The discussion was organised in Pori by the Academy of Finland and Sitra.

Ali Harlin, Professor, FinnCERES, VTT
Essi Karell, Doctoral candidate, Fashion designer, Aalto University
Janne Laine, Professor, Vice President for Innovation, Aalto University
Leena-Kaisa Piekkari, Circular Economy Specialist, Sitra

Kirsi Alm-Siira, News Anchor, Journalist, MTV Uutiset

Watch the panel discussion at MTV Uutiset.

Ommel festivaali 2019

Clothing Design in a Circular Economy

June 8, 2019, Espoo

Doctoral Candidate Essi Karell gave a lecture 'Clothing Design in a Circular Economy' at Finland’s largest sewing event Ommel 2019. The lecture gave an overview of circular economy related challenges in the context of textile products. What could all 'sewists' consider when aiming for product longevity, reusability and recyclability?

Sustainable fashion in a circular economy / Kirsi Niinimäki (ed.)
Sustainable Fashion in a Circular Economy | Editor Kirsi Niinimäki | Aalto ARTS Books

Book Launch: Sustainable Fashion in a Circular Economy

February 5, 2019, Espoo

Edited by professor Kirsi Niinimäki, group leader of F/T Futures research group.

The promotion of sustainable fashion within a circular economy is a vital contemporary topic. This publication presents up-to-date research about the various levels of circularity at work in the fashion industry. Experts of design, consumption, business and industry explain how circularity in the production and consumption of fashion can be approached in manifold ways. This collection of texts highlights the fresh, critical thinking that is currently influencing the fashion industry to adopt the practice of sustainable transformation within a circular economy.

The publication addresses the following themes:

  • How to include consumers within the changing process of fashion consumption?
  • New design and business strategies for the circular transformation of fashion.
  • Developing a systems approach to circularity, which includes the recycling and recovering of materials at an industrial level.

Purchase your copy at Aalto University Shop!

Namkyu Chun dissertation cover
Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking | Namkyu Chun

Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking

November 15, 2018, Helsinki

MFA Namkyu Chun defended his doctoral dissertation 'Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking', having PhD Pammi Sinha from University of Leeds as opponent, and professor Kirsi Niinimäki from Aalto University as custos.

'Re(dis)covering Fashion Designers: Interweaving Dressmaking and Placemaking' discusses the social role of fashion designers. It departed from the encounter with the mystification of what they actually do and the unclear contribution to society as a profession. While critically reflecting on design thinking approaches that have contributed to the expansion of design, this book also questions if design can be generalized without the careful understanding of cultural differences among subfields of design.

The dissertation invites a dialogue embracing the material and immaterial worlds of fashion through two studies in Helsinki, Finland. The metaphor of weaving is adopted to not just interlace the narratives of the studies but also to be used as a piece of fabric patchworking the gap between design and fashion. The two studies were constructed to both recover and rediscover fashion designers. The notion of recovery is presented in relation to the meaning of the fashion design pro­fession in the contemporary fashion system due to certain prejudices. Meanwhile, the notion of rediscovery is tied to the prac­tice of fashion designers, especially the ignored tradition of dressmaking and their shared culture. The results suggest both rethinking what they are capable of and exploring possibilities to expand their role. The studies woven together present an original contribution of fashion designers as engaged actors of society beyond image-making.

Future Fabric
Future Fabric | Helsinki Think Company

Futures Fabrics, Futures Consumption

September 18, 2018, Helsinki

Professor Kirsi Niinimäki gave a presentation 'Futures Fabrics, Futures Consumption' at Helsinki Design Week‘s event Future Fabric on 18th of September, addressing the following question: How does the future of textile industry look like? The event approached the future of Finnish fashion from three perspectives: 

  • Futures material technologies; how to create new ecological materials. 
  • From technology into industry; can expensive innovations revolutionise the fashion system?
  • Can a small country overcome scalability challenges?

The event was organised by Helsinki Think Company in Science Corner (Tiedekulma). Helsinki Think Company is the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki.

Touch Interwoven – Interactive Textile as an Interface Between Physical and Digital Worlds

September 12, 2018, Espoo

Doctoral Candidate Emmi Pouta presented her research at Smart Textile Summit, which is a continually organized networking event that deals with the latest Finnish smart textile research and industry. The first event focused on human experiences with smart textiles in different forms of our everyday life.

Event was organized in collaboration between Happy Textiles Bazaar, Aalto University Experience Platform, Aalto University Materials Platform, and Start North. Event was a part of the official Helsinki Design Week program.

The title of the presentation was 'Touch Interwoven – Interactive Textile as an Interface Between Physical and Digital Worlds'.

More about the event here.

Fashion/Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on human-centered design research. The group approaches research in the field of fashion, clothing and textiles in multi-faceted ways.

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A coat made of Ioncell. Design: Anna-Mari Leppisaari. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti
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