Circuvate Academy

Circuvate Academy brings you in-depth, science-based, circular economy and sustainability courses for the fashion and textiles industries. Learn more about bio-based materials, recycled materials, textile recycling, and more.

Course Selection

IntermediateInnovation in Bio-Based Materials for the Fashion Industry

Who is This Course For?

This course is aimed at professionals in the fashion and textiles industry, including designers, sustainability and innovation teams, sourcing teams, material scientists, and product developers.

This course is for anyone, or any group, who wishes to learn more about the choice of different bio-based materials, their practical applications, the science behind them, their environmental impact and how they will fit into the concept of a ‘circular economy’.

This course is right for you if you are:

  • Developing or designing a new bio-based product line
  • Scouting for new bio-based material innovations
  • Developing skills to break into a new role
  • Training and upskilling a sustainability or innovation team
  • Starting a new sustainable or eco-focused brand


Course participants should have a general understanding of the key concepts of the circular economy and at least a high-school level knowledge of chemistry, and background knowledge on the fashion, apparel or textiles industry.

Our Approach

The Circuvate Academy aims to provide in-depth coverage of key topics of relevance to enable the fashion and textiles sector to engage with innovation, sustainability and circular concepts with a scientific grounding.

Courses at the Circuvate academy are informed by academic, peer-reviewed research and are coupled with practical insights from the industry with contributions and insights from leaders in sustainable innovation.

The breadth and depth of material is taught on our courses are typically not covered at major universities, institutes, or other online courses. We always strive to keep our courses up-to date and comprehensive.

Course Schedule

Masterclass 1, Q1 2022: Bio-Based Synthetics As Replacements For Polyester And Nylon
Masterclass 2, Q2 2022: Innovation in Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres: Alternatives To Viscose
Masterclass 3: TBC, Q3, 2022
Masterclass 4: TBC, Q4 2022

What Will You Learn?

The course starts with an introduction to key concepts and definitions including how we define and verify what is “bio-based” and how we break down and classify different types of materials that fall under this banner, including the key concepts of biodegradabilty and compostability. We will also evaluate the potential of bio-based materials in the context of a circular economy, and how materials might fit into a “biological” or “technical” nutrient cycle. Lastly, throughout the course we will evaluate these new materials through in respect to their end-of-life pathways and their known carbon and environmental footprint.

Next, the course covers in detail bio-based alternatives to synthetic fibres such as polyamides (Nylon) and polyesters, also known as “biosynthetics”, as well as compostable and biodegradable synthetics. We will learn how a bio-based feedstock is chemically transformed into a synthetic polymer, what properties they have, and what applications they may find in the fashion industry.

Innovation in man-made cellulosic fibres (rayon) is a growing topic, and we will cover the new types of fibres (carbamate, micro-fibrilated) coming on the market, alternative feedstocks (agricultural wastes, bacterial cellulose) and greener pulping processes.

Conventional “natural” fibres, too,  such as cotton and bast fibres such as flax (linen) should not be forgotten, too – but what else can be considered? We will dig into innovation with novel feedstocks, including agricultural wastes, cottonized hemp and alternative bast fibres that each have their unique properties and impact potential when compared to cotton.

We will dedicate time to ‘regenerated protein fibres’ including fibres based on casein and artificial spider silks as well as fibres containing polymers from micro and macro algae (alginates and others).

We will also touch upon topics of interest for footwear and accessories such as ‘plant’ based leather alternatives, bio-based synthetic rubbers, natural rubbers and bio-based foams for footwear.

At the end of the course, course participants will take part in an project and exercise to develop their critical evaluation skills of new materials, bringing together all the knowledge from the course, and is capped off with an end-of-course exam.

Your Teacher

This course is led by Dr. Ashley Holding, a scientist and sustainable materials consultant with a background in polymer and materials chemistry. Dr. Holding regularly gives lectures and talks on topics relating to sustainability and the circular economy in the fashion and textiles sector. See our Press page for a summary of recent appearances, talks and interviews.

He is known for being able to break down complex technical and scientific topics, making them understandable to general audiences. He is passionate about science communication and making a transformative difference in the fashion and textiles sector through application of the principles of the circular economy, and the introduction of renewable (recycled and bio-based) materials.

Course Details

Standard Course

Format: Virtual Lectures and Online Material (Blended), including exercises and end-of-course exam.

Cost: € 199 / masterclass (4 in total)

Start Date: End of March 2022

Class Size: Min: 5, Max 20 people

Certificate upon completion, and passing the assignment for each masterclass.

Bespoke or Custom

In-Person, On-Site and Workshop Formats for Teams

Cost: Custom

Time: Custom

Express your interest in a bespoke or custom course and submit an enquiry by emailing

How To Book

Express your interest in this course and sign up to the waiting list via the button below.

Registration will open in August 2021 and booking details will be sent via email to the waiting list with course places being filled on a first-come first served basis.

For general enquiries, please contact

For tailored and bespoke courses for teams, please attach additional details on the size of the team, company details, available dates and format (in person, virtual).

If you would like to stay updated, you can also subscribe to the Circuvate mailing list for dates of future intakes and new course offerings.