Gwen Cunningham leads Circle Economy’s Textiles Programme and is the Sustainability Coordinator at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. In both roles, her focus is in the design and execution of cutting edge initiatives focused on increasing the circularity acumen of brands, educators and students. Gwen’s passion lies in developing new knowledge, tools and processes that can successfully guide organisations and individuals in transforming circular intent to action.
Gwen was born in Ireland, and trained as an apparel designer in her home town of Dublin. In her role as designer, Gwen became critically aware of, and increasingly uncomfortable with, the linear nature of the apparel industry. A drive to design new systems, not new products, led her to Amsterdam and to Circle Economy.
Recent and ongoing projects at Circle Economy include the development and commercialization of the Fibersort (a technology that automatically sorts post-consumer textiles by fibre composition, in order to generate consistent input for textile-to-textile recycling), the launch of On Course (an educational circular training programme for apparel brands) and Switching Gear (an initiative to accelerate circular business models in the industry, by supporting global apparel brands in the design and launch of rental or resale pilots).