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Professor Becky Earley

Research Centre Co-Director, Centre for Circular Design
University of the Arts London
Researcher Research
Rebecca  Earley


Becky is a designer and researcher whose printed textiles have been widely published and exhibited over the last twenty years.

She has been a lead researcher at Textiles Environment Design (TED) since 2000 and Director of the Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) since 2010. She researches sustainable design strategy; curates exhibitions; creates materials, models and prototypes; and mentors other designers and researchers to explore TED’s vision of a more sustainable industry and culture.

Becky works with organisations to embed sustainable design research within the corporate culture. Recent clients include H&M, VF Corporation, Puma, DAFI, Sustainable Fashion Academy and Zero Waste Scotland.

Becky’s practice is concerned with researching the role of the designer in creating institutional and cultural change towards more sustainable and circular, closed-loop practices. Becky co-developed TED’s The TEN - sustainable strategies which educate and inspire users to make more informed and innovative decisions.

She uses design-led methods in workshop scenarios to systematically reconsider the design process and generate new systemic visions; as well as practice-based methods to test the visions in social and commercial contexts. Recent research roles include: the Swedish funded MISTRA Future Fashion project; the EU funded H2020 Trash to Cash project; and the FIRE Up and Worn Again projects (AHRC).

Through individual practice and group research at Chelsea, TED has developed TED’s TEN – strategies which intend to help individuals, and small and medium enterprises, make more informed design decisions.

These are currently being explored through a broad portfolio of research and consultancy projects, which ultimately ask the designer to consider several strategies at any one time – using design thinking to achieve a layered and interconnected approach. The resulting textile and fashion concepts often combine theoretical thinking with material, technical and social innovations.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • MISTRA, MISTRA 2, £322,000.00, (2015-2019)
  • European Commission H2020, Trash 2 Cash, £750,050.00, (2015-2018)
  • MISTRA, Future Fashion, £360,667.17, (2011-2015)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), FIREup: Fashion Innovation Research and Enterprise, £200,814.00, (2013-2014)

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Conference, Symposium or Workshop item






Current research students

  • Matilda Aspinall, Unpicking: Historical refashioning skills as a strategy for sustainable clothing design. (Lead supervisor)
  • Jennifer Ballie, e-Co-Textile Design: How Can Textile Design and Making, Combined with Social Media Tools, Achieve a More Sustainable Fast Fashion Future? (Lead supervisor)
  • Emmeline Child, Scaling-Up Upcycling: Design Systems for Commercial Reuse of Textile Waste Streams. (Lead supervisor)
  • Kate Goldsworthy, Laser-Finishing: A New Process for Designing Recyclability in Synthetic Textiles. (Lead supervisor)
  • Bridget Harvey, How can Re-making and Repair Function as both Political Action and Design Strategy? (Lead supervisor)
  • Rosemary Wallin, Sustainable Luxury: Technology and Value. (Lead supervisor)