creative-industries news press

Launching ‘Circular by Design’

Shauna Kelly

Twelve Irish textile companies chosen to participate in the first professional training programme to promote sustainability in their industry

The Creative Futures Academy at National College of Art & Design (NCAD) and Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) have collaborated to offer a first of its kind professional training programme for the textile industry in Ireland. Twelve companies have been chosen to participate in the pilot of the ‘Circular by Design’ programme which will assist them in making the transition to circularity in their business.

Launching ‘Circular by Design’
Image: Ceadogán Rugs

The textile industry is the joint third highest emitter of greenhouse gases globally and operates in a linear ‘take-make-use-waste’ system, rather than a circular process. It is crucial for Irish textile and apparel businesses to move to more sustainable and circular practices, where products are made sustainably, used longer and then re-used or recycled at end-of-use.


This pilot is especially important now, given the European Commission’s recently published EU Textiles Strategy, which sets out concrete measures to ensure that by 2030 textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable, made as much as possible of recycled fibres, free of hazardous substances and produced in a way that respects social rights and the environment.


Gwen Cunningham, Circular by Design Lead at NCAD “This is an excellent opportunity for textile and apparel designers, brands and manufacturers to learn how to make their business more sustainable. Participants will identify areas in their own collections or product portfolios business where they can innovate for circularity, develop new circular concepts and prototypes, apply changes and develop a roadmap towards implementation. They will also become part of the Circular by Design Community of Practice and connect with a national and international network of peers, experts and innovators”.


Participants in the Circular by Design pilot will gain in-depth knowledge of circular design, circular  business models, international trends, best practice and the challenges and opportunities stemming from practical application. They will attend Masterclasses, coaching sessions and webinars with experts in their field from June to October 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to present their plans and initiatives they have implemented at an Innovation Festival in November 2022.


Jennifer Walsh, Circular by Design Lead, DCCI “We at Design & Crafts Council Ireland are very excited to be part of such an important initiative promoting sustainability in the craft and design sector. Circular by Design marks a significant opportunity to rethink the way we operate in the Irish textiles industry. Each participant will receive 1-to-1 support from a circular textiles expert and get the chance to create a bespoke plan for their business. It will improve knowledge and skillsets, providing a further competitive edge to a sector that is highly regarded the world over.”


The twelve companies accepted for the Circular by Design pilot programme are: Arran Street East, Ceadogán Rugmakers, Linen Shirt Company, Fiadh Woven Design, Liadain Aiken Knitwear, Lily Mais, Mihai Mar Knitwear, Mise Tusa, McConnell Woollen Mills, Saturn Cottage Industries, Talú and The Upcycle Movement.


Further details on Circular by Design can be found at and

Circular by Design is proudly supported by a grant from the CIRCULÉIRE Innovation Fund under Grant Number INF-2901-010-2021.

CIRCULÉIRE is Ireland’s first industry-led innovation network dedicated to accelerating the circular economy. Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) is the secretariat of CIRCULÉIRE which is funded by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EIT Climate-KIC


More information on the CIRCULÉIRE Innovation Fund can be found at (

Launching ‘Circular by Design’
Launching ‘Circular by Design’