Microcredentials for a sustainable textile industry

Taking steps to increase sustainability competencies in the textile and clothing sector

9 Sep 2022 00:00 | Communication

Education in the textile and clothing sector (TCS) is undergoing significant changes, especially with respect to textile materials, sustainability and circular economy (CE).

The new EU strategy for sustainable textiles (2022) has set ambitious goals for the entire sector. U!REKA partners Metropolia and HOGENT, along with other educational institutes across Europe, are collaborating as partners in the Education Partnership of Textile and Clothing Sector Materials & Sustainability, SusTexEdu project. The EU project is co-funded by Erasmus+ programme as a Cooperation partnership.

SusTexEdu aims to support institutions and teachers that offer textile and clothing education by developing micro-credentials to advance the shift to a climate-neutral circular economy in Europe. Micro-credentials are evidence of the results of short-term learning experiences evaluated against transparent standards. The goal of the project is to support the inclusion of sustainability themes in study programs and to provide relevant multidisciplinary educational material as micro-credentials in response to recent and future challenges in working life.

The micro-credentials will respond to the learning needs expressed by the European textile and clothing sector. The project maps skills and competencies needed in different work tasks and areas to support responsible decision-making. In a CE, product design and sustainable material selection require comprehensive understanding of the entire life cycle of a product. In-depth knowledge of textile technology enables a critical examination of materials, their functionality and use from the sustainability perspective. Knowledge of environmental ecology and measurement methods helps to understand the carbon load of the products, while communication skills help to inform consumers on the topic.

The Weaving Lab in the University of Borås (Photo: M. Amgwerd 2022)

During the project, secondary and higher education institutes are cooperating to produce reliable, research-based understanding on sustainability competencies and educational needs. The goal of SusTexEdu project is to develop a new educational concept. Various learning modules, consisting of different combinations of micro-credentials, aim to meet the multiple competence needs of working life, including new jobs created by the shift to a carbon neutral circular economy. Micro-credentials can be used in degree teaching as well as in continuing professional education and lifelong learning. They should also act as a bridge when progressing from one educational level to another.

The concrete result of the project is an online platform with a learning concept of micro-credentials. Since transparent evaluation standards are at the core of micro-credentials, the project also produces a report on quality assurance practices. In addition, SusTexEdu will produce experiences and good practices, scientific publications for the professional sector and a new network of educators in the textile and clothing sector for responsibility, circular economy, textile material and clothing education.

Project Partners:

Metropolia UAS (FI), Hogent UAS (BE), Mome (HU), Omnia (FI), TTHK (EE), TTK UAS (EE) and University of Borås (SE)

SusTexEdu webpage

For more information about the project, please contact Marja Amgwerd.