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Design hackathon: ideas to change the fashion industry

Design hackathon: ideas to change the fashion industry

A clean, fair, prosperous, and circular future for the textile and fashion industry is the goal. Textile & Fashion 2030’s international design hackathon, known as the Big DO, shows that such a change is possible. Along for the ride are well-known companies, such as Patagonia and Under Armour.

Last spring, Textile & Fashion 2030 gathered together companies, designers, and innovators in a workshop ahead of this year’s Big DO, which kicks off in August. The participants come from Sweden, the USA, and South Africa and consist of a mix of well-known companies such as Under Armour, Patagonia, and Houdini as well as the Swedish home textile company Shyness and the fashion company Studio Heijne. South Africa is represented by, among others, the design studio Big Circle and designer Wanda Lephoto.

“Being with colleagues who have different backgrounds and expertise is incredibly inspiring and exciting. Having a free zone to be able to develop and discuss ideas, things you don’t have time for on an everyday basis, is incredibly rewarding and important. Both for my own motivation and to really be able to change the fashion industry into a more sustainable one,” said Wendy Heijne, founder and CEO of Studio Heijne.

Global collaboration the key to change

The purpose of the workshops has been to create design concepts based on three themes:

  1. “Resource transformation” – How can we take advantage of already manufactured resources in a better way?
  2. “Flexible design and global production” – How can we produce things more flexibly and sustainably?
  3. “Mindset change” – How can we change our deeply ingrained patterns and mindsets?

The results will be discussed and presented at the International Design Hackathon Summit on 26 October. The results will also be shared through the exhibition concept Exposé, which is available in both physical and digital form. The goal is to showcase design concepts that can inspire others in order to create a sustainable and circular textile and fashion industry.

“Change in the textile and fashion industry needs to take place through global collaboration, and it is here that we believe that Sweden can take a leading role,” said Susanne Nejderås, platform manager for Textile & Fashion 2030, a task the University of Borås has been given by the Swedish government to create a platform for sustainable fashion and durable textiles.

“We see that great change is facilitated by co-creation between companies and we want to capitalize on of that,” she continued.

A platform for the future

The Big DO is one of many elements of Textile & Fashion 2030.

“To create new innovations, it is important to give companies the opportunity and space to try new approaches, which is actually something we do through the Big DO. We give them access to our environment, our experts, and an opportunity to collaborate with other companies. And by sharing the results, we inspire more companies to dare to try new things,” said Susanne Nejderås.


The Swedish government has given the University of Borås the task of establishing and leading Textile & Fashion 2030 – The National Platform for Sustainable Fashion and Sustainable Textiles The five-year assignment is led by Smart Textiles, part of Science Park Borås at the University of Borås, in collaboration with the Swedish School of Textiles, the Swedish Fashion Council, the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Svensk Handel, and TEKO, the Swedish trade and employers’ association for companies working in the textile and fashion industry.

The Big DO design hackathon was also held in 2019.

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Big DO – an activity within Textile & Fashion 2030

Register for International Summit 26 Oct Big Do Design Hackathon here