Dr Kate Goldsworthy

Profile image of Senior Research Fellow Textile Futures Research Centre

Senior Research Fellow Textile Futures Research Centre

Chelsea College of Arts


Kate is currently Senior Research Fellow at Textiles Environment Design (TED) and has been based with the University’s Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) since 2008. Her core research interests are sustainability, the Circular Economy, new finishing and production technologies and material innovation. Her approach is practice-based, always placing making at the centre of her research, and collaborative, often across disciplines in both industry and scientific fields.

Her practice-based PhD entitled Laser finishing: a new process for designing recyclability in synthetic textiles (2012), re-imagined the way we could manufacture textiles and resulted in the development of a model for ‘Design for Cyclability’, in tandem with the design work. This approach enables the designer to embed continuous cycles of future recycling in their products. 

Laser Line 2D is a body of work which continues to explore the potential of laser-technologies through a series of research artefacts Mono Garments (2010), Zero Waste Dress (2014), SeamsDress (2014) which have been shown internationally including; at the Science Museum (London), the Audax Textile Museum (Tilburg) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York).

As Theme Leader in the second phase of Mistra Future Fashion (2015-2019) and a Lead Researcher in the EU funded Trash-2-Cash (2015-2018), Kate continues to explore the potential of design to engage a more circular fashion and materials economy.

Research interests

Design for cyclability, material and process innovation, technology, sustainability and lifecycle thinking, cross-disciplinary collaboration, industrial ecology.

Research statement

Since 1998 Kate has been developing strategies for reducing textile waste and environmental impacts through design-led research. Her practice-based PhD entitled ‘Laser finishing: a new process for designing recyclability in synthetic textiles’, re-imagined the way we could manufacture and re-manufacture textiles with a focus on ‘industrial ecology’ and 'life-cycle design', enabling continuous cycles of future recycling. Her current work continues to explore these themes, proposing more sustainable production systems for the textile industry, and pioneering design solutions for the recycling and reuse of polyesters.


Current students & thesis titles

Elena Brebenel, Can biomimicry help design furnishings for the domestic environment that improve air quality?

Emmeline Child, Scaling-Up Upcycling: Design Systems for Commercial Reuse of Textile Waste Streams.

Miriam Ribul, Material Activism: The role of design research in the scientific development of regenerated textiles in a circular economy.

Completed students & thesis titles

Helen Paine, Laser Shaping: a method for controlling the elastic behaviour of stretch fabrics for a targeted and graduated compressive effect on the body, Royal College of Art.

Selected research outputs