Fashion at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) surprising? Not at all! WUR has many years of research experience in developing innovations for the textile industry. The exhibition Fashioning the Future is part of the 100 years WUR celebrations and marks the official opening of the WUR Circular Fashion Lab.

The Exhibition

Fashioning the Future provides a glimpse of what a circular fashion future could look like. The results of several research projects with ArtEZ University of the Arts and State of Fashion – collaborations between scientists and students from WUR and (fashion) designers  –  are shown. Living Colour is part of the exhibition.

They have worked on questions such as: What new, sustainable materials can we develop for the textile industry? What is an ideal, fair, clean and sustainable fashion system? How does this relate to the behaviour of consumers and new business models? Novel products from well-known fashion brands can be viewed, both in Impulse as well as in the town hall of the city of Wageningen.

Our Collaboration with WUR

From March until July this year we collaborated with master students from WUR in two ACT-projects (Academic Consultancy Training). Together with Daniëlle Bruggeman, Professor of Fashion at ArtEZ, we acted as commissioners in these 2 projects. In the first projects the students tried to answer the research question: “How can bacterial pigments become a sustainable substitute for traditional dyes in the fashion industry?” Through literature research, lab experiments and interviews the students researched what pigments are available, how these pigments are produced (metabolic pathways), how to create patterns using our biodyeing process and what textiles can be dyed.

In the second project a new group of students tried to answer the main research question “Is it feasible to upscale the pigment production for textile industry in microorganisms?”. They investigated what microorganisms can be used for pigment production, the possibilities of transplanting pigment producing pathways into other microorganisms, if it’s possible to produce multiple pigments in one organism in a controlled manner, methods to grow microorganisms in an industrial setting to colour fabric, extracting sufficient amounts of pigment from microorganisms, and if there are health risks for workers and consumers.

The reports showed us some great insights and recommendations for future research.

Our Collaboration with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

At the same time we were doing our material and colour research at the biomedical lab at in collaboration with students from the honours programme. We also conducted our cymatics research at this lab.

The results of these new experiments were previously on display at the State of Fashion exhibition in Arnhem. From 4 September until 3o September we will showcase them during the Fashioning the Future exhibition.


On September 4th Louise O. Fresco will officially open the exhibition ‘Fashioning the Future’ in Impulse.

12:45h Welcome by Kim Poldner, WUR Circular Fashion Lab

12:50h The value of WUR for the fashion industry

  • Eiso Alberda van Ekenstein, Bestuursvoorzitter Stichting Sonsbeek & State of Fashion
  • Prof. Dr. Nishant Shah, Dean Graduate School, Member Executive Board, ArtEZ University of the Arts
  • Louise O. Fresco, President Executive Board Wageningen University & Research
  • Geert van Rumund, Mayor of the City of Wageningen

13:15h Opportunity to visit the exhibition and meet designers, scientists and students who have created the innovations.

Fashioning the Future

Tue 4 September 2018 – Fri 12 October 2018

Impulse, gebouwnummer 115
Stippeneng 2
6708 WE Wageningen

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