Fourteen consortium partners attended the General Assembly, which took place on 10-11 May. The project coordinator Centexbel hosted the gathering in the historic city of Ghent, Belgium. The event was mainly in-person, but some of the partners also had the opportunity to join virtually.
The Assembly had a special excitement, as it was the very first physical meeting since the start of the project in October 2020, which is following the framework of bi-annual consortium-wide meetings.
Over the two days, the project partners had eventful and insightful days that included: the update on the progress made in their work packages (WP), participation in workshops focusing on the use case of bio-based materials in fashion design, and a visit to the Centexbel operational site, including a guided tour around the attractions of Ghent.
The first day kicked off with the presentations of the Work Packages from 1 to 6:
- WP1: Design for bio-based circular textiles – UAL (Centre for Circular Design)
- WP2: Biorefinery – Bio-based materials – TNO
- WP3: Wet and melt spinning – Centexbel
- WP4: Bio-based textiles intermediates manufacturing – Eurecat
- WP5: Demonstration of bio-based garment production – DITF
- WP6: Environmental and social assessment – RISE
The work packages progress update was followed by a workshop facilitated by UAL – Centre for Circular Design. During the workshop, Prof. Rebecca Early, Dr. Rosie Hornbuckle, and Dr. Laetitia Forst guided the project partners through the ideation of material and garment scenarios by discussing the properties and design of materials made with PLA and HighPerCell® fibers and the further garment design potential.
The first day was wrapped up with the city-guided tour combined with a walking dinner, allowing participants to not only discover and explore the historical city and local specialties but also to create connections and get to know each other.
The second day proceeded with the presentations of the remaining work packages from 7 to 9:
- WP7: Stakeholder community building & servicing – TCBL
- WP8: Innovation management and Impact activities – MIRTEC
- WP9: Coordination – Centexbel
Following the work packages presentations, Ina Budde (circular.fashion) and Lisa Bour (RISE) presented fundamental updates on the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and the Sustainable Product Initiative (SPI), which are notably creating an impact on the work done within the HEREWEAR project. The final exercise of the General Assembly continued with the workshop conducted by UAL – Centre for Circular design.
Shortly after the lunch break, the participants had a unique chance to experience a guided visit to Centexbel largest operational site in the Technologiepark in Zwijnaarde near the town. As part of the experience, the project partners were able to see firsthand the textile laboratories that are facilitating the textile coating, finishing, printing, and dyeing processes.
The two-day event was an impactful opportunity to get everyone together for a deep dive into the project and to finally meet in person the ones who were such a long time behind the screen.
This edition of the General Assembly has successfully come to an end. We would like to express our gratitude to the project coordinator Centexbel for the remarkable organization – and thank everyone who was able to join, whether in person or virtually.
We are looking forward to continuing progress in the HEREWEAR projects and seeing each other again in future assembly meetings.