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Dr Kate

Job title
Reader in Circular Textile Design and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design
College name
Chelsea College of Arts
Email address
Dr Kate Goldsworthy


Kate is Reader in Circular Textile Design and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at Chelsea College of Arts. She is a designer and academic working to bridge science, industry and design through multidisciplinary & practice-led research. She joined UAL as a researcher in 2005 with Textiles Environment Design (TED), and the Textile Futures research Centre (TFRC). In 2012 she completed the first UK practice-based doctorate focused on ‘designing for the circular economy’ and continues to explore future manufacturing and recovery contexts towards effective circular systems.

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 or embedded in industry contexts through knowledge exchange projects.

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. She is focussed on collaboration with stakeholders from all parts of the textile supply chain in order to promote and develop best practice towards circular systems for textiles. She is also interested in the potential for digitisation and new production models to provide more sustainable future solutions. Nonwovens production, hi-tech finishing processes and chemical recycling developments are all part of this remit.

Her design practice work has been exhibited internationally at the Science Museum, the ICA and Crafts Council, (London), the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (USA), The Museum of Fine Art Boston (USA) and the Audax Textile Museum (Tilburg). She is a member of the EPSRC EC Forum in Manufacturing Research and was recently named by the Guardian as one of the UK’s top ten circular economy experts.


Research Interests

Design for the circular economy, material, finishing and process innovation, redistributed manufacturing, technology, sustainability and lifecycle thinking, cross-disciplinary collaboration, industrial ecology.

Research Statement

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 (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.

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 both polyesters and bio-based materials.

Research Outputs

  • Earley, Rebecca and Goldsworthy, Kate (2017) - Playing for time: seven practice-led workshop tools for making design decisions to extend the life of fashion textile materials and products. In: PLATE: Product Lifetimes and The Environment (Conference Proceedings). Research in Design Series Ebook 9, IOS Press Ebooks, Amsterdam, pp. 127-132. (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate (2017) - The Speedcycle: a design-led framework for fast and slow circular fashion lifecycles. The Design Journal. (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate and Roos, Sandra and Peters, Gregory and Sandin, Gustav (2017) - Towards a Quantified Design Process: bridging design and life cycle assessment. In: Circular Transitions 2016 Conference Proceedings. UAL. (
  • Politowicz, Kay and Goldsworthy, Kate and Earley, Rebecca (2017) - Circular Speeds: towards a new understanding of designing for fashion textile rhythms. In: Circular Transitions 2016 Conference Proceedings. UAL. (
  • Earley, Rebecca and Goldsworthy, Kate (2015) - Designing for Fast and Slow Circular Fashion Systems: Exploring Strategies for Multiple and Extended Product Cycles. In: PLATE: Product Lifetimes And The Environment, 17-19 June 2015, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK. (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate and Paine, Helen (2015) - Laser Welding of Textiles: A creative approach to technology through a reflective craft practice. In: All Makers Now? Craft Values in 21st Century Production. Falmouth University, pp. 45-51. ISBN 978-0-9544187-9-3 (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate (2014) - Design for Cyclability: pro-active approaches for maximising material recovery. Making Futures, 3. ISSN 2042-1664 (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate (2014) - Laser Line 2D: Zero Waste Dress. [Art/Design Item] (
  • Goldsworthy, Kate (2012) - Laser-finishing: a new process for designing recyclability in synthetic textiles. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London. (


  • Cathryn Hall - Mech-Mix Materials: designing progressive blending of mixed fibres from post-consumer textile waste to enable high-value material recovery. (Chelsea College of Arts)
  • Laetitia Forst - Textiles for Disassembly: how can design practice inform models for disassembly for textiles in a circular economy? (Chelsea College of Arts)
  • Emmeline Child - Scaling-Up Upcycling: design systems for commercial reuse of textile waste streams. (Chelsea College of Arts)
  • Miriam Ribul - Material Activism: The role of design research in the scientific development of regenerated textiles in a circular economy. (Chelsea College of Arts)
  • Helen PaineLaser - 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)