Gwen Cunningham is 24 jaar oud en Lead Circular Textiles Program (and Sustainability Coordinator)
Verduurzamen van het bedrijfsleven (MVO)
For the past two years, I have been fervently working to make the Fashion Industry more sustainable through the Circular Textiles Program at Circle Economy and the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Specifically, I am working to transition the textiles industry from a pollutive, damaging linear model to a vibrant and innovative circular one; through multi-stakeholder pilot projects and education.
My work in the Circular Textiles Program is focused on three main pilots; the Fibersort project, the Circle market and the High-value recycling projects. Here, I work with a community of collectors, sorters, recyclers and brands to develop and test new technologies, concepts and business models, that we believe can be the best practices of tomorrow.
As well as my work with Circle Economy, I coordinate & teach sustainability to budding fashion designers, branders and managers, at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Here my focus is on designing & implementing an ambitious ‘greenline' strategy and curriculum, so that all who graduate from AMFI, are equipped with the necessary tools to be a positive force in the industry.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve a circular textiles industry, whereby products, fabrics & fibres can be infinitely cycled within & across industries in a transparent and economical way, and where business models support the cycling of resources, and consumers have a healthy relationship with clothing. We have built a passionate community of innovators, who are all working towards this end goal.
The Fibersort project is developing a machine which can sort textiles based on fibre composition, using optical detection. Such a machine will give high value recyclers access to sorted feedstock for their processes and could create a tipping point for a closed loop industry. The project aims to to demonstrate FIBERSORT technology to the market in a demo plant & validate this as a key value adding innovation w/partners Wieland Textiles, Valvan Baling Systems, Reshare, Worn Again, Faritex and Metrohm. The Circle Market is a global online platform we're developing to facilitate the buying & selling of textile waste, so that it can be reused & recycled. Having reached MVP stage, the platform is now being piloted with 18 national/international partners and is on track to reach Oct. BETA launch
Circle Economy (and Amsterdam Fashion Institute)
Rol binnen initiatief
Having been with the Textiles Program since its infancy, my role has been in shaping & sharing our vision for a future circular Industry, to determine how we can make the change happen. This involved extensive field and desk research, market analysis and program development. Now that the program is established my main role lies in initiating & driving multi-stakeholder pilot projects & connecting and nurturing our community. In AMFI I challenge students with the latest thinking on sustainability & empower them to see themselves as agents of change within the system. I am redesigning where & how sustainability is being taught in the university. I've initiated an annual sustainability symposium w/ Circle Economy, Beyond Green, where industry and students join forces to tackle key challenges
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