Every 9 of August, the United Nations recognizes the International Day of the World’s indigenous peoples and particularly those indigenous women who have relentlessly defended their people’s lands and have championed collective rights for indigenous people globally. On this day CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster joins the commemoration to stand up for the preservation of practices and world knowledge given by indigenous people in the social and environmental pillars of the textile and fashion industries.

Weaving is as old as human civilization and a major expression of art and culture for indigenous people. Everything created by them was inspired by nature and with the most regenerative principles of the circular economy. Dyes and mordants were found in plants, insects, marine creatures, and minerals. However, after World War 2, the modern textile began to emerge, and with it the invention of synthetic fibres polluting the environment. At CirCoAX by CircularInnoBooster we promote regenerative practices as well as the use of biomaterials and implementation of processes that are sustainable for our environment and communities.  

Indigenous peoples’ nature-based solutions and contributions to regenerative practices such as the agricultural movement have been a source of inspiration for some of our CirCoAX30. The exchange of synthetic materials for more functional natural ones is implemented by Pyratex Musa. They are creators of textiles sourced from plants that have health-promoting qualities – knitted in a way that preserves the properties in the final fabric.  

Today dyes used by indigenous peoples are made naturally with leaves, flowers, vegetables, insects, and roots. Nevertheless, in our century synthetic dyes are less expensive, have better colourfastness, and completely dominate the industry as compared with natural dyes. This choice has a negative impact on our environment as dye wastewater is difficult to biodegrade due to its complex composition, high concentration, and high color. To tackle this industrial and environmental challenge, CirCoAX30 Pigmentalia aims to define a sustainable/efficient dyeing process for regenerated fabrics.

On the social pillar, indigenous peoples inspire us with their culture, spirituality, and close relationship with nature. In this sense, our CirCoAX30 Hemper has created a space that honors values such as respect and fairness of hemp artisans. They have managed to build long last relationships with locals that have led to the production of their products, developing an innovative ecosystem around unique artisanal fabrics and dyes, and overall taking steps in doing their part in making the industry sustainable through regeneration.

Based on The World Bank “Indigenous peoples hold vital ancestral knowledge and expertise on how to adapt, mitigate, and reduce climate and disaster risks.”  We must support them, especially indigenous women who significantly suffer high levels of poverty; low levels of education and illiteracy; limitations within access to health, basic sanitation, credit, and employment; restricted participation in political life; and domestic and sexual violence. Indigenous peoples’ knowledge of the fashion and textile industries is an opportunity to enhance culture, empower communities and restart to regenerate our environment.

About COSME   

COSME is the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).  

This programme assists SMEs to develop their business models, to obtain funds and to internationalise. This scheme also supports public administrations to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and to facilitate the economic growth of the EU. During the funding period of 2014-2020, this programme allocated €2.3 billion to support SMEs.

About IED   

Istituto Europeo di Design is an academic institution working in education, training, and the research of fashion, design, visual communication, and management. IED has offices in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan, Rome and five other cities) and Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro). IED works in several EU and COSME countries through collaborations and arrangements with institutions, business support organisations, teachers, experts, and mentors. IED has an extensive network of connections in the fashion and textile sector (F&T).  

About Finnova  

Finnova es una fundación que trabaja para la promoción y el desarrollo de la innovación y el espíritu empresarial a nivel de la UE. Con sede en Bruselas, opera a través de colaboraciones y asociaciones en todos los países de la Unión Europea. La experiencia de Finnova liderando actividades de comunicación y difusión de proyectos europeos se combina con una sólida experiencia probada en la creación de empresas y programas de apoyo empresarial, como aceleradoras, incubadoras y selección y adjudicación de eventos ceremoniales.   

About Texfor  

Texfor is a leading textile association in Spain with roughly 400 members. Founded in 2010 and based in Catalonia, Texfor brings together enterprises from the textile value chain, i.e. from weaving to fabrics as well as accessories, textile finishing, printing, and dyeing for the dressmaking industry, textiles for households and technical and industrial applications. Texfor has an extensive expertise as it has worked in relevant expert committees at an EU level: university and professional training, developing financial capacities, cross-cutting collaboration, fostering RDI, specialised services, and leadership in sustainability focused on the circular economy.  

About Circulab  

Circulab is a laboratory and design studio specialising in developing transformation methods, tools and programmes to help enterprises adopt circular and sustainable business models. Circulab has designed a number of tools to implement a circular business model in enterprises. It works in 23 countries – 9 out of them in the EU – and it supports projects via 60 independent entrepreneurial consultants. It applies circular methodologies and tools.  

About The Circular Project co-designed with HumanNation  

TCP (The Circular Project) favours and promotes a circular and sustainable fashion in different areas, offering the fashion industry a communication strategy based on a cross-cutting and systemic approach of the circular economy. TCP combines social, ethical, environmental and economic aspects, and has a strong presence and connections in the sustainable fashion world.  

TCP has promoted the Circular Sustainable Fashion Week Madrid, a one-of-a-kind event, and also serves as HQ for the Spanish Association for the Sustainability, Innovation and Circularity in the Fashion Industry. TCP is also ambassador of Sannas (Triple Bottom Line Business Association) and has collaborated in a wide array of Spanish, European, and Latin American institutions and enterprises.  

The Circular Project works with Human Nation to co-design and develop CirCoAX. HumanNation is a consultancy enterprise specialising in the development of transformative and disruptive ecosystems of innovation and companies for the ‘new economy’. It is based on the fourth economic sector, the systemic thinking, and co-creation. It raises awareness in organisations and ecosystems to respect the planetary boundaries and the social fabric, creating resilient local economies with a global perspective. 

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