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Fostering the circularity of smart textiles

Ways in which the circularity of textiles, including smart textiles, can contribute to the EU Green Deal and the EU Climate Change and Defence Roadmap were addressed by nearly 50 experts from 10 countries across Europe in a dedicated workshop on 25 October 2022.

European textile use has the fourth highest impact on the environment and climate change after food, building and mobility. It puts some of the most pressure on water and land use, uses up raw materials and is a major emitter of greenhouse gases.

The workshop was a forum for scientists and engineers to explore the possibilities for collaborative and transnational projects focused on future developments for circular materials for textiles in the defence and in related dual-use domains. The event gathered representatives from Member States’ ministries of defence, EU institutions, the defence industry, research institutes and universities within the “Circular Materials for Textiles” Project Circle (CMT PC), established under the EDA-managed “Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence” (IF CEED). Specific contributions were made by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space, the European Technology Platform for Textiles, as well as  experts in the sector.

Key areas were identified for the development of project ideas on circularity of  textiles:

  • circularity by design (e.g. for cellulose-based materials or composite materials)
  • repair and reuse
  • recycling (e.g. military textiles, high value fibres from armour)
  • sustainability, including safe and sustainable by design.

The work of this IF CEED Project Circle will be continued by developing business cases which will be further discussed in upcoming meetings.

The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) is co-funded by the European Union (under the LIFE programme) and the Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Directorate of Defence.

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