Welcome to

Circular Textiles

a platform to broaden circular knowledge and close industrial loops in the textile industry!

Course ONE

Interactive ecosystem for circular textiles: the New Cotton Project case

Based on the MATERIAL FLOW, KNOWLEDGE FLOW and the ECOSYSTEMIC FLOW, this course is an amalgamation of videos, graphics, and texts which should provide the student with a very thorough understanding of circularity in the textile industry.

Course TWO

Improving Textile Circularity

Inspired by the learnings and issues found during the New Cotton Project’s implementation, this course illustrates the 4 main areas which could easily improve circularity in the textile industry: overall approaches to circular economy, end-of-life opportunities, new business models and other circular considerations (such as social sustainability or the assessment of circular initiatives).

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Textile circularity

It is currently estimated that only 2% of post-consumer textiles in Europe are diverted to fibre-to-fibre recycling (Fashion for Good, 2022). The fashion industry urgently needs scalable solutions, yet the creation of circular materials to decrease dependency on virgin material has historically proven challenging, with a truckload of textiles being landfilled or burned every second. Although there have been many pilot schemes, no organisation has been able to address the problem alone. The New Cotton Project launched in answer to this challenge, aiming to demonstrate a potential blueprint for commercial circular garment production, and a new more sustainable way of working for the fashion industry.

Circular economy has been a widely researched topic since its inception and adoption by the European Union as one of the main levers to increase product’s sustainability in the continent. Likewise, Aalto University has invested resources and personnel on the investigation and problem solving related to the topic, currently hosting over 69 projects on circular economy, 53 on sustainability and 7 research groups directly or indirectly researching sustainable change, production models, materials, etc.

The Fashion/Textile Fashion (FTF) research group was created by Professor Kirsi Niinimäki in 2015 and hosted 15 members by November 2022 The research group focuses mainly on fashion related topics from a human-centred design approach, having a strong connection with the strategies being adopted by the industry to increase its sustainability profile. 

Overall approach

The courses presented on this platform provide insights into the adoption of circular economy in the textile industry using the New Cotton Project as a starting point. Initially composed by two courses (‘New Cotton Project’s interactive map’ and ‘Improving textile circularity’), the creators decided to provide a very fluid and independent list of contents so that the attendee can select exactly what to learn about (always being able to expand the topic accordingly).

The ‘New Cotton Project’s interactive map’ is an interactive course based on three different layers of the project: material, knowledge and the ecosystem. The course attendee can click on the activities they are more interested in and expand into other areas from there. A similar format is proposed on the ‘Improving textile circularity’ course where there are 4 main classes and complementary additions to broaden the topic.

The two courses complement each other by building on to the TEXTILE CIRCULARITY context, providing material on the individual stages of the supply and value chain through educational and practical content to illustrate the concepts displayed.

By the end of the course we expect the attendees to be able to discuss the various stages of the textile industry as well as their reflection/influence/impact on circularity. Ideally better understanding their role in the overall adoption of the circular economy and change within the industry.

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When and where does the course take place?

This online course can be started and followed as you please, according to your specific needs or following the order they appear.

Do I need to register?

There is no need for registration.

Do I get a certificate for any of the courses?

No, the courses are structured so you can use it according to your needs, therefore there is no need to register nor follow a schedule. Thus, also not culminating in the emission of a certificate.

Is there an order to follow the courses?

No, however the material is usually displayed considering the chronological order of actions.

What if I have questions or I don't understand something?

Once every 3-months the course creators will host a thematic live Q&A in order to try and respond to questions as they happen. Otherwise you are also welcome to contact us through the email: circulartextiles@aalto.fi.

Who created this page and why?

This MOOC (massive open online course) is the result of Natalia Moreira’s research as Aalto University’s postdoctoral researcher within the New Cotton Project. It was elaborated in order to widen the reach of the results and to spread the acquired knowledge to as many interested parties as possible.

How is the course graded?

The course is not graded as it does not provide a certificate of completion.

I have a technical problem with the course platform - what can I do?

Try closing and opening your browser. Then, try logging in on a different browser. If you keep facing technical issues, please send a message to circulartextiles@aalto.fi.

I have a non-technical problem or a suggestion related to the course content, web design, site accessibility or another. How should I proceed?

If you have a problem that was not described here or any ideas to improve the website, please contact us via email. Your email will be kept confidential.

How is the content licensed?

All course content (such as text, illustrations, interactive elements and layout) (C) 2020 Aalto University, all rights reserved. Such content may not be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Aalto University.

Some videos, images and external websites were not developed by Aalto University. Those were found in different platforms and linked to our course as illustrative examples, and are all being used solely for Educational purposes. The external sources are all being mentioned and they were found in public domain. In case you notice a problem with any of those, please contact us.

How do you address the EU digital accessibility standard?

All videos linked in this website were developed before September 2020 (please see the Aalto note on that subject in this link). Many of the course videos, images and external websites were not developed by Aalto University and this course just provides the link to them as they are being mentioned as examples. Please note that Aalto University doesn’t respond on their behalf.


This platform is part of the New Cotton Project and the material is provided through Aalto University. In case you would like to get in touch please send your email to circulartextiles@aalto.fi