TCBL - Textile & Clothing Business Labs is building a multi-faceted business ecosystem of sector enterprises, innovation labs, service providers, and business advisors, all working together to transform the Textiles and Clothing industry. The common objective is to build alternative paths to over-production and diminishing value while returning 5% of production capacity and reducing environmental footprint by 20%, within 2025.

In its first two years of operations, TCBL has built a valued-based communityof 136 enterprises, 28 business labs, 75 expert advisors, 12 service providers, and 7 startups collaborating towards this shared goal. Innovative business models are currently being explored for re-structuring supply chains (natural cotton and eco-friendly production), re-shaping production processes (short runs and independents) and re-framing customer values (bacteria dyeing and digital heritage).

TCBL is a research and innovation project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under Grant Agreement 646133. It brings together 22 organisations from 11 EU Member States. The four-year workplan runs from July 2015 through June 2019, with a total budget of over 8 Million Euros.


The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world, in which one the most environmentally disastrous processes is the dyeing of fibers and textiles of the clothes we wear. Chemicals are released daily in nature destroying the environment around us to satisfy the colour demands that we create as designers, industry and consumers. Very few options are being explored in this fast changing fashion, clothing and textile industry, in which the list of chemical treatments is only expanding. We are simultaneously trying to identify the real environmental costs we are paying and researching for less harmful alternatives.


The TextileLab Amsterdam and Making Lab Athens have been researching about bacterial dyes as an alternative, on one side focusing on creative experimentation and on the other side exploring scalability and impact of this process and outcomes. Together with other TCBL key players in exploring relevant candidates, documenting the process and evaluating the possible impact of this project we are working on bringing these experiments to real industrial life.

Todays TCBL Labs

TextileLab Amsterdam -Waag

Making Lab Athens - Mirtec

Vienna Textile Lab



Goals and targets

This project could answer many questions around the textile and clothing dyeing processes, providing a non chemical solution and an organic natural cold dye bath. Lowering chemical-environmental impact of dyes and possibly creating a higher energy efficiency for this industry. Testing this with real industrial parties for real life impact is were we see this going.

Further Reading

A special issue of the TCBL_zine is under preparation for this business pilot.