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Knowledge category: Projects

Bio-based local sustainable circular wear

Updated on 12.04.2023

HEREWEAR contributes to the creation of an EU market for locally produced circular textiles and clothing made from bio-based resources. It is developing and piloting emerging sustainable technologies, providing guidelines and a database for fashion design, and using clothing prototypes to demonstrate its circular, bio-based concept.

Countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Project website:
Start and end date: 01.10.2020 - 30.09.2024
Budget: 7 044 208 EUR
Funding source: Horizon 2020

More information

HEREWEAR innovates by using a holistic, systemic approach to create an EU market for locally-produced circular textiles and clothing made from bio-based waste. Further, the project aims to significantly reduce the release of microfibres throughout the textile manufacturing process. New material solutions build on the latest developments in bio-based polyesters and cellulose. Three novel waste streams (seaweed, manure and straw) are being developed for cellulosic textile fibres. Emerging sustainable technologies for wet and melt spinning, yarn and fabric making are being developed and piloted at semi-industrial scale. Coating and colouring bio-based agents for finishing are also being evolved.

The project is producing prototypes for streetwear and corporate clothing by connecting regional microfactories to maximise sustainability and circularity. Factories are organised into regional value creation circles or by platform-supported, networked production resources. HEREWEAR is implementing phase and end-of-life processing management ‒ known as repair, re-use, recycle ‒ through novel structures. Blockchain-enabled labelling and a digital twin with life-cycle assessment information provide full transparency. The project’s database and guidelines focus on the performance of bio-based materials and reuse/recycling, while further guidelines will help the industry take up these results.

The project consortium includes six research organisations and various small and medium-sized enterprises coming from the EU and United States. To maximise impact, HEREWEAR is building on the Textile and Clothing Business Labs community (over 240 sustainable textile businesses) and uses the SOURCEBOOK platform (over 25 000 organisations). Via these networks, blueprints for the transition to bio-based circular textiles are to be shared and implemented. In this way, HEREWEAR aims to establish a bio-based circular textile clothing market segment of ca. € 300 million, aiming to maintain ca. 1 200 textile manufacturing jobs in the EU.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

HEREWEAR focuses on local availability and processing of bio-based waste, enabling the development of bio-based fibres for the fashion industry. This means applying a cross-sectorial approach, for example by considering: 
    a) Cellulose-based sources as alternatives to cotton, such as waste from land (manure and straw) and from seaweed (using leftover materials from the extraction of valuable components, e.g. for medical, food and feed applications); and 
    b) bio polyesters as alternatives to polyester, based on combination of polylactic acid as main materials, blended with polyhydroxyalkanoates (biodegradability) and/or Polybutylene succinate (flexibility). 

Overall, HEREWEAR combines expertise and knowledge from several disciplines: polymer chemistry, biorefinery, bio-based raw materials, textiles value chain, recycling, design, engineering, software platforms, and environmental science. Beyond that, the project considers engagement with different types of stakeholders. For example, it develops digital tools for coordinating local, small-scale (or ‘short run’) production (e.g. micro factories) and tracking of raw materials to ensure ‘sustainable origin’ and ‘circular use’. It also considers engagement with social enterprises and local do-it-yourself initiatives for textile re-use, swapping, repair, and so on.

Horizon programme(s) and/or topic(s)


  • H2020-EU.3.2.: SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy (Main programme)
  • H2020-EU. Supporting market development for bio-based products and processes
  • H2020-EU. Developing integrated biorefineries


  • CE-FNR-14-2020: Innovative textiles – reinventing fashion


€ 7 044 208.60 (EU contribution:  € 6 158 830)

Responsible organisation and contact details

Centre Scientifique et Technique de l'Industrie Textile Belge

Contact the project:

Project consortium partners

  • Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf
  • Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO)
  • University of the Arts London
  • Fundació Eurecat
  • Circular.Fashion UG (haftungsbeschrankt)
  • Asociația Mai Bine
  • Finipur NV
  • Mitwill Textiles Europe
  • Vreteno UG
  • Sourcebook GmbH
  • Queen of Raw Inc.

CEAP2 key product value chain