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tExtended Conversations Series: VTT

tExtended is sharing today the first issue of the Conversations Series, where we speak with project partners about interesting details on their work in the project. Today we are speaking with Pirjo Heikkilä from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who has given us an insight about coordinating the project while working on the tExtended research as well.

I am Pirjo Heikkilä, coordinator of the tExtended project, and working at VTT as principal scientist and project manager in the field of circular textile research. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a multidisciplinary research organization focusing on applied research. VTT’s headquarters are in Espoo, near Helsinki, but I am based in Tampere. There are tExtended project group members also located in Oulu and Jyväskylä.

Personally, my role is the project management and coordination of the project, and I am also active in communication work and some research tasks and follow up also other research activities. VTT as partner is active in wide range of research activities from studies of future textile ecosystem to development of digital tools and textile recycling technologies.

I have been involved in many national projects focusing on building circular solutions and circular textile ecosystem in Finland. It is very exciting to now work within a larger consortium across Europe, use and apply what we have learned in national projects on a wider scope, and also learn what kind of developments have been made in other countries.

VTT has expertise and therefore also a good success rate in applying for EU projects. With our existing networks we were able to build strong consortium for extending textile circularity, and with our partners we are able to also build our own expertise and develop our solutions further.

tExtended is an ambitious project aiming for a real scale demonstrator, which should show potential to reduce textile waste by 80% compared to the current situation. We need to develop digital tools and develop processes needed, and within demonstration we will include different types of discarded textile flows and demonstrate both efficient reuse and recycling.

There are so many things to do before the textile systems will be truly circular. However, there are also lots of efforts done, multiple projects and other activities ongoing to build up knowledge, develop processes, and building infrastructure needed. I believe that we will see drastic change in how textiles are produced, used and cycled in Europe within the coming years.

Ambitious, exciting, meaningful

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