GREEN CYCLES is a think tank and a tool to place and position the increasing questions about textile and fashion sustainability and a platform for designers, engineers, researchers and theorists as well as an incubator for students and alumnae. Located in the design department of HAW Hamburg – University of Applied Sciences, GREEN CYCLES is an international and transdisciplinary format.

The 21st Century so far has seen a rise and multiplicity of big and small initiatives with proposals to address the problematics of the globally working fashion and textile industries, which for a long time neglected all awareness acting in a very linear way from product to waste with mostly taking on little responsibility. The focus on new textile and fashion thinking, researching and making is internationally working its way out from increasingly local starting points to question, influence and change industry.

The textile cycle of growing, designing and re-thinking material, producing textile surfaces, the clothing industry, stages of use and the end of the life cycle of garments and textile products with its implications has begun to invite new and conceptual thinking for some time now. The thinktank GREEN CYCLES – Corporate Social Responsibility in the Textile Cycle is hosting an annual symposium as an on-going narrative looking at current strategies that focus on environmental, ethical, socio-economic and corporate social responsibilities intervening into the traditionally closed and highly precarious textile cycles.

Textiles and their cycles are part of global developments and complexities. At the same time contemporary communication possibilities facilitate exchange, dialogue and research as well as close looks and shared initiatives on a local basis, that can generate international impact. With approaching design processes through low-tech strategies and thinking textiles in an expanded field, speculative processes pave ways to visionary future developments. Parallel and initially disconnected threads of local community crafts with their histories and

their spirited survival alongside questions of commerce and trading and concepts of sustainable curated shopping may spawn as yet unfamiliar dialogues. The middle part of the textile cycle – the time of use – has been getting increasingly shorter, if being existent at all. Fast Fashion with the general loss of textile making expertise and hence repair abilities in both East and West, has for some generations been resulting in quick disposals of textiles setting up further cycles of economic dependencies. With design-led activities to regain local craft knowledge and repair concepts such as visible mending coming back as design strategies, their slow making and individualized aesthetics raise acceptance for high quality making and longer life cycles of individual textiles with personal meaning.

Industries, smaller manufacturing companies as well as designers, makers and practitioners are beginning to develop concepts with a view to circularity and loops rather than linear thinking which produces dangerous textile and fashion waste at the end of a line. Strategies are also coming from design-thinking, design-research and the inherent ways of designing with all stages involved – from material, production, marketing and consumption to re-evaluating the notion of “waste” to make an impact on the earth. The format of symposium GREEN CYCLES is exploring, researching and communicating the possibilities of all stages in the textile and fashion cycles. 


Renata Brink and Patrick Kugler initiated GREEN CYCLES in 2010.

RENATA BRINK has been professor of Textiles in the Design Department of HAW Hamburg since 2010.

After training as a handweaver at Harrogate Art College in the North of England and subsequently establishing a dyeing and weaving studio in Hamburg, Renata Brink graduated with an MA Textiles in the Visual Art Department at Goldsmiths / University of London, specializing in Critical Theory and installation works negotiating textiles and space. A further focus on teaching work followed in both England and Germany – including Winchester School of Art and guest professorships at Kunsthochschule Kassel and weissensee kunsthochschule berlin.  

With her interests in material, craft, slow textiles and practices of making embedded into social and ecological questions, contexts and research, Renata Brink from an art and design background and Patrick Kugler with a garment engineering focus initiated and have been developing the thinktank and platform GREEN CYCLES with an annual symposium. Exploring issues of textile and garment sustainability GREEN CYCLES has grown into a continually extending narrative.

PATRICK KUGLER teaches courses on clothing technology and management as well as multichannel trade investment in the textile business.

After having worked in various professional positions in the clothing industry, Patrick Kugler joined the HAW Hamburg Design Department in 2008. Patrick Kugler is interested in design development and material requirements in ready-to-wear-textiles. He focuses on the holistic and sustainable aspects of production and design for the clothing industry of the future.