The Western Development Commission (WDC) is pleased to announce the THREAD project, underscoring our commitment to sustainable textile solutions in the West of Ireland with partners from the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) region. THREAD stands for Textile and Habiliment Reuse for the Environment and NPA Area Development and is a collaborative initiative in partnership with Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) in Finland and Remiks Miljøpark AS from Norway.
Against the scenic backdrop of Clew Bay, our European Projects team recently convened in Mulranny, County Mayo, with representatives from KAMK and Remiks, to discuss the project’s objectives and strategies in depth. Discussions encompassed the project plan, insights into the textile waste market across Finland, Norway, and Ireland, and an exploration of textile waste processing capacities in the NPA region.
THREAD aims to address the challenges of textile waste, focusing on sustainable solutions that align with national regulations and economic considerations. The project emphasises collaboration, aiming to foster robust industry partnerships throughout the NPA region and drive research into sustainable textile practices.
Ian Brannigan, WDC Head of Regional Development, remarked,
The NPA has shown foresight in facilitating the west of Ireland to partner with regions facing similar challenges in developing community solutions to global textile recycling challenges. Together with our colleagues in Finland and Norway, we will identify solutions to not only mitigate against the waste apparent in this area but also provide opportunities for local businesses and communities.
Anna Tervonen, Project Manager at KAMK, added, “Driven by EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles and upcoming extended producer responsibility, it is important to look at sustainable solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle textile waste as well as develop markets for post-consumer textiles. The project is targeted to build a strong partner consortium to develop sustainable solutions in textile waste management.”
This funding is instrumental in enabling the WDC and its partners to undertake comprehensive research and develop sustainable solutions for textile waste management in the NPA region. The financial support from Interreg reinforces the European commitment to fostering innovation, environmental sustainability, and collaborative partnerships. Following this initial phase, the team will be submitting a full application for project funding to implement the strategies and solutions developed through this research.
The THREAD project not only aligns with the Western Development Commission’s strategic commitment to sustainable solutions but also paves the way for enhanced collaborations in the textile waste industry across the NPA region. As we move forward, the WDC is optimistic about the positive impact and transformative potential of THREAD.