The circular economy for the textile and fashion industry

Ended project: 10/2017 – 9/2019

Helsinki Vocational College realised a learning environment with which textile and fashion design students learned to manufacture circular economy products.

What was it about?

The project was part of the Circular economy teaching for all levels of education package implemented between 2017 and 2019. Sitra’s vision was that all graduates should understand what the circular economy means from the point of view of their work and day-to-day life, and what decisions and actions they can take to promote the circular economy. The aim was to increase expertise in the circular economy in Finland by extensively developing circular economy training, materials, concepts and co-operation from different points of view for all levels of education. More than 50 educational institutions, organisations and businesses took part in the package.

What was achieved?

The project involved producing the Kiertoon online learning environment (in Finnish) for use by textile and fashion design education providers, general education and the industry. The learning environment’s materials were tested in workshops and lectures for students. In total, the project reached some 500 students at the participating educational institutions. In addition, supplementary workshop training was organised for teachers during the project.

According to the students, the lectures and workshops increased their awareness of the circular economy and their expertise in choosing materials for circular economy products, their processing and the opportunities and challenges in product design and manufacture. Teachers’ horizons were also broadened by the project, and they now increasingly make use of surplus materials.

Who was involved?

Sitra funded the project, and the people responsible for the project at Sitra were Riitta Silvennoinen and Nani Pajunen. The key implementer of the project was the Stadin ammattiopisto vocational college. Other participants included Saimaa Vocational College Sampo, Vantaa Vocational College Varia and a large employment network that provided sparring on the topic of the circular economy in textile and fashion design studies. Furthermore, the project was led and its progress monitored by a steering group consisting of professionals from within the industry.


Nani Pajunen
Senior Lead, Sustainability solutions

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