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Professor Becky Earley

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


Professor Rebecca Earley is a sustainable fashion textile designer and co-founder of Centre for Circular Design at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London. Her work currently focuses on textile design strategy for sustainable and circular textiles, spanning new material development, new production, social and methodological models, and design for mindset and behaviour change of both designers and users.

She set up her B.Earley textile studio in 1994, and began teaching in 1996. She won several awards early on in her career including the London Fashion Week New Generation Award, the Princes Trust, Crafts Council, Arts Council England and Peugeot Design Awards. In 2007 she was nominated as a Morgan Stanley Great Briton for her contribution to sustainable fashion textiles in the UK. Between 2010 – 2017 she was Director of the Textile Futures Research Centre at Central Saint Martins and also worked in the Textiles Environment Design (TED) unit at Chelsea developing design strategy, curating exhibitions, facilitating workshops and creating original materials and prototypes. Becky has curated major fashion textile exhibitions in London, New York and Sweden; has shown her work extensively around the globe and is collected in by Museums including the Victoria and Albert in London and MFIT in New York.

Becky currently collaborates with brands and organisations to embed sustainable design research within corporate culture. Projects include Mistra Future Fashion (2015 – 2019) where Becky is exploring speeds for circular fashion textiles; and the Horizon 2020 EU project Trash-2-Cash which creates bridges between science and industry partners with CCD researchers, guiding the Design Driven Material Innovation (DDMI) process. Her contract research portfolio includes work with the Global Change Award, H&M Foundation, H&M, Filippa K, Kappahl, Zero Waste Scotland, Fashion Revolution, TCC Global, Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA), Sloggi, Puma and VF Corporation.

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

  • 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)
  • Laetitia Forst, Textiles for Disassembly (Joint supervisor)
  • Kate Goldsworthy, Laser-Finishing: A New Process for Designing Recyclability in Synthetic Textiles. (Lead supervisor)
  • Cathryn Hall, Blending In (Joint supervisor)
  • Bridget Harvey, How can Re-making and Repair Function as both Political Action and Design Strategy? (Lead supervisor)

Past research students

  • Clara Vuletich, Transitionary Textiles: a crafts-based journey of Textile Design Practice towards new values and roles for a Sustainable Fashion Industry (Lead supervisor)


Fashion business
Textiles and materials