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Professor Kate Goldsworthy

Professor of Circular Design and Innovation
University of the Arts London
Researcher Research
Kate  Goldsworthy


Professor Kate Goldsworthy is Chair of Circular Design & Innovation and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design, based at Chelsea College of Arts. She is also Deputy Director of the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology partnership (BFTT, 2018-23), funded by the UK Industrial Strategy (£5.5m) and managed by the AHRC.

Her core research interests are designing for sustainability, the circular economy and material innovation within textile and fashion contexts. Her methods are transdisciplinary & practice-led, with a focus on fibre-to-fibre recovery and new finishing technologies . This includes more sustainable production systems for the textile industry, and pioneering design solutions for the recycling and recovery of both synthetic polymers and bio-based materials.

She joined UAL initially as a Masters student in 1997 and after a period in industry returned in 2005 to undertake doctoral research. Her practice-based PhD ‘Laser finishing: a new process for designing recyclability in synthetic textiles’ (2012), 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.

She is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and was previously a member of their EC Forum in Manufacturing Research (2016-2020). She also advises on policy groups and industry boards, including a long-standing relationship with Worn Again Technologies, where she currently sits on their Circular Advisory Panel. Her creative work has been exhibited & collected internationally. and commissions include The Science Museum, The V&A and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Through research projects, including Mistra Future Fashion (2015-2019) and the EU funded Trash-2-Cash (2015-2018), and HEREWEAR (2019-2024) Kate and the CCD team continue to explore the potential for design to drive a more circular materials economy. This includes devising collaboration tools and methods for engaging stakeholders from all parts of the materials value chain as well as hands-on material and process development. She is also interested in the potential for digitisation and new production models to provide more sustainable future manufacturing visions. Nonwovens production, hi-tech finishing processes and chemical recycling developments are all part of this remit. Her approach is practice-based, always placing making at the centre of her research, and collaborative, often across disciplines or embedded in industry contexts through knowledge exchange projects.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Book Section




Current research students

  • Emmeline Child, Scaling-Up Upcycling: Design Systems for Commercial Reuse of Textile Waste Streams. (Joint supervisor)
  • Loula Guarin Figueroa, "Exploring how circular design systems could develop new sustainable textile fibres from agro-industrial waste of cacao and coffee in Colombia." (Joint supervisor)
  • 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. (Joint supervisor)
  • Sanne Visser, Design and the recycling of human hair waste towards a circular bio economy. (Joint supervisor)

Past research students


Textiles and materials