In order to live up to their responsibility towards society and the environment, more and more companies are relying on Cradle to Cradle, or C2C. According to the C2C concept, products enter the biological or technical cycle after their useful life without loss of quality and serve as starting materials for new products. This prevents downcycling, waste of raw materials and the generation of waste. The products follow a holistic approach to material health and safety through production, use and reuse, thus making a comprehensive positive contribution to people and the environment.

More and more textile products are developed, optimized and certified according to the C2C Certified™ product standard. The Beneficial Design Institute GmbH and EPEA GmbH - Part of Drees & Sommer are among a few companies that contribute to the development and implementation of completely recyclable textiles. EPEA has extensive knowledge of material composition, dyes and finishing chemicals for textiles and applies this know-how to optimize products with regard to recyclability. The Beneficial Design Institute, as an institute for sustainable design and circularity of products, contributes its expertise in comprehensive design for circular and material-healthy fashion and textile products to innovative projects.

From individual textiles to the entire supply chain

During the design and implementation of C2C textiles, each individual ingredient is tested for its suitability for the environment and health. The design is at the beginning of the process. The experts select materials and chemicals from both a scientific and a design perspective in such a way that they are optimized for recyclability. But the development of a C2C textile product does not end with the testing of its material composition. Through effective and comprehensive control of the production process, C2C experts also ensure complete transparency of the supply chain. They check all aspects of production for resource efficiency and recyclability - from the effective use of raw materials and the use of chemicals that are not harmful to health to keeping water clean and using renewable energies. The Cradle to CradleCertified™ certificate is the only seal in the textile sector that evaluates the recyclability of a product and makes a transparent statement about it.

By the positive definition of the ingredients for technical and biological cycles, water management, occupational health and safety and by the use of renewable energy, a holistic quality can be achieved. Beneficial Design stands for a positive cultural change that combines quality, innovation and beauty with sustainability in a global context.

Cooperation on the Lidl pilot project

In a successful cooperation between Lidl, Beneficial Design Institute GmbH, EPEA GmbH - Part of Drees & Sommer and the CHT Group, recyclable and safe-to-use textile products based on the Cradle to Cradle concept have been developed in a pilot project.

The food retailer's products are not only made of biodegradable materials, but also use biodegradable printing pastes. These have been specially implemented in the joint project with the CHT Group and meet the strict criteria of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product standard at gold level. All products of the pilot project were certified in gold and silver. Together with Prof. Michael Braungart, the co-developer of the Cradle to Cradle principle, the EPEA scientists evaluated the ingredients of these textiles according to C2C requirements, sorted out all harmful substances and accompanied the optimization of the printing paste for 18 months. The overall design and project management is carried out by the Beneficial Design Institute GmbH.

"The future of textiles and clothing lies in a comprehensive understanding of quality. The pilot project uses an integrated, beneficial design approach to show that healthy and safe products can also be successfully implemented in countries like Bangladesh. This gives hope for a global partnership towards a positive cultural change in the fashion and textile industry," says Friederike von Wedel-Parlow.

"We recommend all textile manufacturers to develop their products according to the C2C concept. Because the advantages are obvious: The companies not only receive textiles of high ecological quality, know all the ingredients of their product and have transparent supply chains, but also make a positive and above all tangible contribution to the environment," says Friederike Priebe, C2C Textiles Team Leader at EPEA GmbH - Part of Drees & Sommer.


Beneficial Design – Creating Positive Fashion

The Beneficial Design Institute GmbH sees itself as a design research and development institute with a focus on fashion and textiles. It follows a positive and holistic design approach that goes beyond the product to design systems and processes of production, use and recycling. The aim is to create positive and beneficial effects for all those involved in the product, the users and the environment. In a transdisciplinary setting, sustainable design processes and systems are applied: Positive effects for people, nature, culture and business are created through resource-effective and recyclable product, manufacturing, distribution, communication and utilization concepts. The aim is to create cultural change by combining quality, innovation and beauty.


EPEA – Circular Economy powered by Cradle to Cradle

EPEA GmbH - Part of Drees & Sommer is an international research and consulting institute for environmentally compatible products, processes and buildings. 35 employees work together with players and companies from business, the public sector and science and advise on solutions for the circular economy. They apply knowledge from chemistry, biology and environmental science to develop or optimize products of all kinds with regard to their material health and recyclability. They also develop concepts for closing material cycles in production processes, buildings and cities. Further information can be found on the website at


About CHT Group

The CHT Group, a medium-sized global player for specialty chemicals, is active worldwide in development, production and sales. CHT Germany GmbH in Tübingen is the headquarters of the group of companies which focuses on sustainable chemical products and process solutions. CHT's TEXTILE SOLUTIONS improve the quality, functionality, appearance and purity of textiles and optimise their manufacturing processes. The CHT Group is represented by 29 companies with production and sales locations worldwide and achieved a group turnover of 513 million Euro with 2,200 employees in the business year 2018. Further information can be found on the website

Click here for the PDF download of the press release

Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC, LLC. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a trademark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation institute.

© Photos: Jarek Raczek, 2018

Curious about our projects?

Contact us

Hufelandstraße 22, D-10407 Berlin

T: +49.30.86 45 79 78



Privacy Preference Center