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Dr Kate Goldsworthy

Chelsea College of Arts
Researcher Research
Kate  Goldsworthy


Kate is Reader in Circular Textile Design and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at Chelsea and has been based at UAL 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.

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.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • European Commission H2020, Trash 2 Cash, £750,050.00, (2015-2019)
  • MISTRA, MISTRA Future Fashion 2, £322,000.00, (2015-2019)
  • Mistra, The Curated Wardrobe, £32,000.00, (2016-2018)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), EPSRC Early Career Forum for Manufacturing Research
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Network University

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Book Section




Current research students

  • Emmeline Child, Scaling-Up Upcycling: Design Systems for Commercial Reuse of Textile Waste Streams. (Lead supervisor)
  • Laetitia Forst, Textiles for Disassembly: How can design practice create models for disassembly for textiles in the circular economy? (Lead 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)
  • Cathryn Hall, Blending In: How can post consumer textile recycling be adapted to produce high value, commercial materials? (Lead 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)

Past research students

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


Textiles and materials