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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.