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Fashion industry experts analyse the challenges facing the textile industry at the conference “Next4Fashion unlocking new sustainable paths”

  • The projects of the EU COSME programme were present at the event “Next4Fashion, Unlocking New Sustainable Pathways”.
  • Laura Velasco, project coordinator at the Finnova Foundation, presented the Circular Innobooster project.

6/12/2023 Brussels. The event “Next4Fashion, Unlocking New Sustainable Pathways”, organised by the S4Fashion consortium with the support of the Circular Innobooster, Fashion for Change and Small but Perfect projects of the COSME programme of the European Union, was held in Brussels on Wednesday 6 December.

“Next4Fashion, Unlocking New Sustainable Pathways” brought together experts in fashion, policy making, sustainability, business, culture, innovation and emerging sustainable and circular fashion initiatives. The event provided insight into the integration of circularity and sustainability principles into policies, sectors and innovation funding schemes within the fashion industry.

The day started with a welcome from Teresa Moroder, founder of Lottozero Creative Hub; Cecilia Nilsson-Bottka, DG GROW responsible for policy and legal affairs at the European Commission; and Igor Kalinic Head of Sector EISMEA (European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency), which brings together in one agency all activities of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and programmes related to small and medium-sized enterprises.

After the introduction, the results and knowledge gained during the 3-year life cycle of the four COSME projects were presented. Anais Roussou S4Fashion project coordinator of the European Creative Hubs Network, Michael Laermann, communications leader of the Fashion for Change project of Ecopreneur, Laura Velasco Circular Innobooster project coordinator of the Finnova Foundation and Eleni Mavrogeni Small But Perfect Fashion Revolution Greece project coordinator were in charge of presenting the respective projects.

The day continued with a panel discussion on European support programmes for sustainable fashion. A panel of experts analysed the successes and choices of past initiatives and discussed the necessary evolution of the sector and the integration of certain knowledge into future support structures.

EISMEA Circular Fashion Accelerators

As part of the event programme, the EISMEA Circular Fashion Accelerators acted as partners to fashion startups and SMEs to help them develop sustainable fashion business ideas and explore ways to launch and expand to new countries. Projects such as Cloto Circular, Loop Look and Junkle, which are part of the S4Fashion project, participated in the panel discussion to share their experience and learning throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

The event concluded with a guided policy dialogue with the aim of critically examining fashion challenges and proposing innovative and sustainable policy solutions. A comprehensive understanding of the issues, existing frameworks and possible solutions towards a sustainable future was sought.

About S4fashion

S4Fashion, a project co-funded by the European Union’s COSME programme, is enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to introduce new circular economy and sustainable products, services, methods, tools and business models for the fashion industry.

One of the main objectives is to identify and scale up the best and most up-to-date practices for a greener fashion sector, as well as to support, connect and empower 25 transnational partnerships to work collaboratively for the creation of sustainability solutions for the fashion industry. The 25 successful pilot projects will benefit from a customised programme including mentoring, networking opportunities and financial support.

Since 2021 S4Fashion has focused on the task of empowering small and medium-sized enterprises to introduce new products, services, methods, tools and business models of circular and sustainable economy for the fashion industry. One of the main objectives it has promoted during these three years has been to identify and scale up the best and most up-to-date practices for a greener fashion sector. For three years S4Fashion has been promoting sustainable practices in fashion, overseen by the European Innovation Council and the SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) on behalf of the European Commission.

S4Fashion’s vision is to influence the European fashion community to change perspectives and redefine the fashion sector by responding to the needs of our time for ethical, inclusive and responsible production and consumption.

About Circular InnoBooster

Circular InnoBooster Fashion and Textile (F&T) is a project funded by the European Union’s Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Programme (COSME).

The Circular InnoBooster project aims to transform companies in the textile and fashion industry into sustainable, circular and regenerative enterprises. With a duration of 2 years, it has a budget of 1,128,000 euros, 75% co-financed by the European Commission. The project is composed of an international consortium led by the European Institute of Design (IED), together with Texfor, Circulab, Finnova and The Circular Project with HumanNation.


COSME is the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises programme of the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). Through this programme, assistance is provided to SMEs to help them develop their business models, access finance and internationalise. It also supports public administrations in improving the business environment and facilitating economic growth in the European Union. During the 2014-2020 funding period, this programme earmarked €2.3 billion to support SMEs.


About the Finnova Foundation

Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities for European projects is combined with a proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.

One of the areas in which the Foundation is heavily involved is the textile sector, the second most polluting industry in the world. For this reason, it has launched the Next Textile Generation platform, which aims to give visibility to and promote innovative ideas on sustainable practices in fashion and textiles. Through this platform, Finnova disseminates relevant information related to the industry with information on other European projects.