Sectors covered: Technological innovation in textiles and clothing
Innovation priority: Circular economy and resource efficiency
ELIIT funding: €70 000
Sustainability is on the fashion industry’s agenda, with the Global Fashion Agenda’s 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment already having been signed by 90 companies. Unfortunately, the development of sustainable textiles is hampered by time and cost issues and a lack of knowledge.
Berlin-based SME circular.fashion creates software to encourage the industry to adopt more sustainable processes. Its solutions play a crucial role in educating professionals and identifying sustainable products. However, their main objective is to unite companies around efforts to achieve circular fashion.
Senstile has developed the first digital search engine that identifies and compares the properties of different textiles. It is part of a textile digitisation system which also includes a sensor that analyses the characteristics of fabrics, control and front-end applications and a back-end cloud platform, where artificial intelligence (AI) models are run to suggest sustainable options.
What's the goal?
Within the DIGICIRCLE project, the partnership between circular.fashion and Senstile – both award-winning companies – is an excellent opportunity to speed up progress on sustainable and circular fashion.
This innovation can also help the fashion industry overcome related challenges. At the same time, it gives Senstile a chance to connect with textile supplier networks and strengthen its position as an AI-based fashion-tech company.
In order to improve workflows, the partners are training algorithms to cluster materials automatically, integrating Senstile’s digitisation system with circular.fashion’s circular material database. New and efficient sustainable design processes are also being tested.
With Senstile’s system, instead of creating sustainable fashion from a limited range of textiles available at fairs, designers can find the fabric from the database that best matches their quality requirements. They also have the option to replace the closest match with a more sustainable choice.
How has ELIIT helped?
ELIIT’s support has made it possible to adjust DIGICIRCLE to take account of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its partners and the fashion industry as a whole. The partners are now sharing their networks and promoting the project, which attracts more interest from the fashion industry.
Furthermore, mentorship support through ELIIT and interviews with fashion brands are helping the partners to improve their value propositions - not only reagarding the project but for their businesses more widely.
Meet the partners
circular.fashion’s circular design software collects information on recycling requirements and uses it to compile its circular material database and design guidelines. These are can be accessed by fashion brands online, allowing them to create fully recyclable products.
Each year, more than 20 customers, ranging from start-ups and SMEs to global brands, use circular.fashion’s solutions. The company’s network of suppliers includes some 50 sustainable textile producers, with over 100 more in the pipeline.
To ensure that products reach the right recycler, circular.fashion performs a circular product check on each garment from its suppliers. This is based on detailed data that shows whether a given combination of materials is recyclable and if so, with which recycler. This information is saved on a unique circularity identifier and is integrated into the garment as a scannable tag. More than 1 300 products have been tagged so far.
Senstile is a fashion technology start-up that focuses on hardware development and AI technology to efficiently digitise textile properties. It is currently patenting technologies included in its sensor for global roll-out.The company works to shape a new production paradigm for the fashion industry, based on advanced digitalisation to benefit fashion brands, textile suppliers and distributors.
Senstile also runs R&D projects on touch-based technologies and explores AI-powered sustainability ratings. These incorporate not only common sustainability parameters but also durability, quality and microfibre pollution.In addition, it is designing a recycling system and hardware that will significantly ease sorting processes.
Tech provider: Senstile S.L.