CRAFT-IT4SD: European craftmanship, creativity and technology as driver for the sustainable transformation of the Fashion and Textile industry

Aarhus, Denmark – 12 January 2024
CRAFT-IT4SD (Craft Revitalization Action for Future-proofing the Transition to Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development), has officially launched with a two-day kick-off meeting on January 10th and 11th in Denmark. Organised by the project coordinator Aarhus University (AU) and partner organisation Via University College, and joined by all consortium partners, the meeting took place at two key locations: The campus of VIA University College in Herning and MiXR Lab in Aarhus.

CRAFT-IT4SD, set to span three years, is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme under the «Cultural and creative industries for a sustainable climate transition» call (HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-01-02). It aims to put the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI) in the driver seat for the sustainable transformation by the cross-fertilisation of traditional craftsmanship, particularly in the field of textile and fashion, and cutting-edge technologies and sustainable business practices. The consortium is made up of 11 partners (10 Beneficiaries and one Associated Partner) from 7 different EU countries, including industry partners, academia and research centres, SMEs, creative clusters, and innovation partnerships.

The first day of the launch was held at the campus of VIA University College in Herning, Central Denmark, where the participants were introduced to the Herning pilot and VIA’s design and textile facilities. The Herning pilot, which is led by VIA Research and Development Centre for Creative Industries and Professions (CKEP), is one of four pilots in Craft-IT4SD, the other three located in Northern Finland, Romania, and Catalonia. The Danish pilot focuses on the evolution of the fashion
and textiles industry in Herning, an area with a rich history dating back to the 16th century. This region’s journey from its origins in home-crafted knitted wool ware to a modern experimental technology hub for fashion and textile inspired the participants and demonstrated the plenitude of
sustainable innovation opportunities that cross-sectoral collaboration embodies. In Herning, CRAFT – IT4SD will explore how craftsmanship can be used as catalyst for technological innovation, delivering experiments and prototypes for sustainability, including customer perspectives.

At day 2, hosted by MiXR Lab in Aarhus, the consortium delved deeper into the project’s architecture and contents, planning tasks for the coming three years. Located in Aarhus’ harbour area and a constituted part of Filmby Aarhus, MiXR Lab propagates the knowledge and utilization of new technologies in businesses and organisations working with film, TV, and gaming. MiXR lab introduced participants to the application potentials of immersive media and extended reality
technologies to traditional crafts. Aarhus University’s research lab for Participatory Audio-Visual Design, CAVI, added to this an inspiring presentation of the various participatory technologies the research lab can offer to CRAFT-IT4SD.

Project coordinator Adriënne Heijnen from the Centre for the Digital and Green Transformation in Cities and Communities, Aarhus University, concluded: With this successful launch of CRAFT-IT4SD, we put the European craftsmanship tradition in the centre of the sustainable transformation of the fashion and textile industry. Firmly rooted in a strong ecosystem approach, CRAFT-IT4SD will marry the tradition of craft and creativity with cutting edge technologies from where new impactful sustainable practices and business opportunities will emerge.

For further information on CRAFT-IT4SD and future activities, please contact: [email protected]
Contact Information:
Adriënne Heijnen
CRAFT-IT4SD Project coordinator

[email protected] or [email protected]