Textiles, Clothing,
Leather, and Footwear sectors

Strengthening the fashion and textile industry for a more sustainable future

The European textile sector, while economically significant and generating high turnover, has a considerable environmental footprint, causing negative impacts on the environment and climate change in the EU, being a huge source of pollution.

Efforts to transition to sustainability have been slow, but the EU Commission has released, in March 2022, its EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles which aims to make textiles more durable and recyclable by 2030, promoting circular business models. Key to this is extending product lifespan through innovative design.

General objective

The SiT project aims to foster innovation in education, training (HE and VET), and the TCLF sector, emphasising the potential of the green transition and addressing skill gaps.

analyse emerging occupations and skills gaps for the green transformation of the TCLF sector
develop specific training modules for green competences
engage TCLF SMEs and sector organisations in skills development through a bottom-up approach

SiT fosters innovation by aiming to

bridge the gap between education/training and the labour market
analyse emerging occupations and skills in the TCLF sector
develop a “green” mindset in students/learners and TCLF professionals

By introducing green principles, sustainability, and circular economy approaches, SiT seeks to enhance skills among TCLF owners and staff, contributing to the sector’s survival, growth, and sustainability.

Specific objectives

  • SO1 - Identify a competence-based training structure for the green transition of the TCLF sector

  • SO2: Develop innovative and multidisciplinary curricula, based on learner centers, active learning

  • SO3: Promote the acquisition of functional, transversal, and green knowledge, competences and skills for learners;

    • SO4: Promote the sharing of knowledge between HE/research and VET, public, and business sector (KTs);

    • SO5: Promote the development of an ecosystem for the green transformation for SMEs and start-ups through an interactive platform and local hubs, facilitating networking among potential stakeholders for the TCLF sector development.

      Project activities

      The project consists of 6 phases

      • Phase 1

        focusses on creating local/national knowledge triangles (KTs) and conducting a training needs analysis to identify and map two new emerging occupations in the textile sector. The project will involve surveying and interviewing various stakeholders, including entrepreneurs and professionals from textile SMEs. The analysis will be used to identify and map 2 new emerging occupations (Bio-textile Technician and Recycling Manager) to stimulate the green transformation of the sector.
      • Phase 2

        consists on the development of training programmes, materials and methodologies to be designed by the partners with inputs from stakeholders
      • Phase 3

        consists on the development and updating of a MOOC platform addressed to higher education and vocational education and training students, which will be open even to professionals
      • Phase 4

        consists on the pilot training action, during which the newly developed curricula will be tested and delivered through 3 different way:
        • Open and online training;
        • Blended training, including Face to Face training and project-based learning (development of green solutions for the textile sector and an international boot camp)
        • Work-based learning
      • Phase 5

        focusses on creating local ecosystems and hubs to promote the integration of green principles into local economies. The first activity is the development and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the development through green transformation of the TCLF sector in each country. Focus groups will be organised to guide stakeholders in understanding and analysing the project actions. An interactive platform will be created to support the creation of local multi-actor networks, share good practices and support the start-up process of green textile enterprises
      • Phase 6

        A combination of communication and dissemination activities supports the overall implementation of the SiT.

      Target groups

      Impact of the project

      Local level
      the project supports the green transition of the TCLF sector and the knowledge of path to boost green practices in project countries, improving the sector capacity to respond to the challenges accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, digital revolution, climate change and inclusion to leave no one behind, according to the Agenda 2030 objectives. It will improve supporting services, through the creation of local green TCLF ecosystems and local labs to create and foster green and sustainable forms of entrepreneurship. It will also support the cooperation between all the components of the “knowledge triangles", where business representatives and SMEs will provide input to research on skills gaps and at the same time research will provide the TCLF representatives and SMEs with inputs to boost sustainable local economies. HE and VET providers will work and co-create to provide skills needed by enterprises to foster growth in the local economy according to sustainable principles.
      National level
      SiT’s outcomes will improve the efficiency of existing HE and VET practices and offer and broaden their target groups. SiT through the creation of a capacity building process will contribute to actively provide inputs to the challenges that existed before but were exacerbated by the pandemic, enhancing the suitable environment for boosting synergies and networking and creating a bridge between education, research and business to accelerate, support and boost green transition of the textile sector. Through the exploitation and advocacy activities we aim for the inclusion of the SiT methodologies and tools within the regional and national catalogues of the educational offer, and supportive services through an open services platform, encouraging an improved specialisation, upskilling and reskilling of people working in the textile sector to enhance the green transition.
      European level
      SiT will map the missing professional competences of the emerging profiles toward the green transition of the TCLF sector and entrepreneurial skills to boost it. SiT will also impact on future developments of the sector at EU level and will also aim at establishing sustainable cooperation structures which can keep on collaborating after the project lifetime. SiT should influence the improvement of the sector, thanks to the development of units of modular LOs, which enhances its adaptability in terms of transferability to other sectors and countries and integration both in the curricula devoted to the TCLF sector and, more in general, to VET and HE systems around the EU.