CIRCULAR AND BIO-BASED TEXTILES
The Arnhem-Nijmegen Green Metropolitan Region is situated at the heart of a vast metropolitan area in eastern Netherlands. The region is flanked by the Randstad conglomeration in the west, the Flemish Diamond to the south and the Ruhr to the east. The region has a total population of more than 750.000 inhabitants and is combining its metropolitan, economic power, with sustainable and circular practices. The Green Metropolitan Region Arnhem-Nijmegen excels in circular business models, climate adaptation and nature-based solutions, for instance in circular construction. The region is positioning itself as a living lab of the future-proof, circular economy. This enables businesses, government bodies, educational institutes, banks and residents to find each other quickly, share knowledge and learn from each other. The region is also the Fashion and Design hub, within the Dutch Circular Textile Valley, when hosting Artez the arts and design higher educational institute and many fashion and textile workshop of artists. The region is aiming for implementation of a circular economy. Regarding textiles the challenges consist of collection and re-use of textile waste, stimulating the growth, processing and applications of bio-resources and connecting the Value Chain.
The Hub is consisting of the Green Metropolitan Region, a regional network of public partners, in which municipalities collaborate on regional strategies. Circular Economy is one of the key missions for collaboration Circular textiles is part of this mission. Within the Green Metropolitan Region various partners are active in the different parts of the domain of circular textiles. Agricultural sector in Eastern part of the Netherlands is increasingly interested to grow new (fiber rich) crops as bio resources for the circular and biobased economy. There is growing attention of waste collectors and processors in valorization. Re-use of textiles is a big challenge. There are small private initiatives for experimenting with new biobased materials for example in the arts and design community (fashion quarter, 025, Gelderland Innovation Network on Textiles, Dutch Circular Textile Valley. There are several knowledge and educational institutes increasingly active in circular textiles, Artez, WUR, HAN. Also there are several private sector networks and intermediates stimulating the circularity in the region: Economic Board Arnhem Nijmegen, KIEMT cluster organization, VNO-NCW private sector representatives and Oost NL, the regional development agency. The starting point is a broad network of organizations and persons, which are not well connected and optimally collaborating on circular textiles. Within Engage4Bio we will work on connecting the Value Chain and optimization of the innovation ecosystem, in order to optimize the circularity of textiles, exploring bio-resources, optimize the use of capacities, knowledge, finance and creativity, reach out for civil society with learning and training formats, in order to increase understanding, initiatives and dynamics.