World Crafts Council Europe is pleased to present Crafting Circularity: the Transformational Potential of the Craft Sector, our next edition of the New European Bauhaus webinar series, taking place on Thursday 15th of June from 17:00 – 18:30 (CET), via Zoom. Registration is free and open to all.

Following the previous two topics of sustainability and digitalisation, this webinar will focus on the theme of circularity and circular economy in craft. Our guest experts will give insights on the capacities of the craft sector in contributing toward building more resilient and sustainable societies and encouraging the necessary adoption of circular practices.

The series of webinars falls under our three year Crafting the Future project, co-funded by the European Union under the Creative Europe programme. The webinar topics aim to contribute to enhancing the capacities of the craft sector to contribute to building more resilient and sustainable societies and encourage the necessary adaptation of practices in the sector. Sustainability and circular economy are placed at the highest rank among the current sectoral challenges and through our programme of guest speakers, we intend to show how the European craft sector plays an important transformative role as a driver of sustainability and circular economy.



Note: The times shown are Central European Time (CET)

17.00 – Welcome | Elisa Guidi, WCCE President, 

17.05 – Introduction | Véronique Willems, Secretary General, SMEunited

17.15 – Keynote | Gwen Cunningham, Lead for Circularity and Sustainability, NCAD & Textile Programme Lead, Textiles Programme, Circle Economy

17:35 – Craft Story 1 | Helen O’Shea, Textile Artist using ‘Waste’ Plastic

17.45 – Craft Story 2 | Pilar Ureña, Vegetable Fibre Weaver, Pilar Ureña Escariz

17.55 – Craft Story 3 | Liadain Aiken Knitwear, Circular & Made to Order Knitwear

18:05 – Making Design Circular x WCCE Collaboration MOOC | Katie Treggiden, Author, Journalist & Founder, Making Design Circular

18.20 – Q&A

18.30 – End



Véronique Willems

Véronique Willems is representing Crafts and SMEs in Europe as the Secretary General of SMEunited (formerly known as UEAPME) since January 2017. Beforehand from 2009, she was the Head of European affairs at UNIZO (SMEunited Belgian member organisation) and was responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at EU-level. In January 2016, she was nominated deputy to the SME-representative for Belgium at the European Economic and Social Committee.

Ms Willems started her career at UNIZO in 1999 as Policy Officer in charge of education, training and SME counselling and went on to work at the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel) as responsible for advocacy at regional level, mentorship programs and individual counselling for entrepreneurs. Ms Willems holds a Law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Master’s Degree in Commercial sciences / Business management from VLEKHO Brussels.


Gwen Cunningham

Gwen Cunningham is co-founder of World Circular Textiles Day, chairs the Irish government’s Textile Advisory Group, sits on the Board of the EU Commission’s WORTH Partnership Programme, and on the Advisory Board of chemical polyester recycler Worn Again Technologies. She is originally a designer by trade, but for the past decade she has been focussed on driving the practical implementation of circularity across the textiles and apparel industry.

Gwen currently leads the Textiles Programme for Amsterdam based impact organisation, Circle Economy where the core mission is to achieve a zero waste textiles industry. In this role, Gwen manages a team of circular textiles specialists and designs and leads various international multi-stakeholder research and innovation projects with stakeholders across the textiles value chain. Alongside this role, Gwen is also the Lead for Circularity and Sustainability at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Here her role is to support staff to integrate the topic into existing BA programmes, as well as lead the development of new educational national provisions on circular economy. In 2022, Gwen built an industry circular training programme ‘Circular by Design‘, a collaborative initiative between DCCI, NCAD and the Creative Futures Academy, and is currently developing a new Masters in Design for the Circular Economy, which is launching in October 2023.


Katie Treggiden

Katie Treggiden is an author, journalist, podcaster and keynote speaker championing a circular approach to design. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a membership community in which designer-makers get to feel proud of contributing to a thriving planet with every product they make.

With 20 years’ experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden. She has launched, edited and published an award-winning design blog and an independent print magazine. She recently gained a distinction for her Master’s Degree in the History of Design from the University of Oxford. She was the co-founder of women’s network Bloom and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.







World Crafts Council Europe Annual Conference | CRAFTING THE FUTURE: New Skills & Opportunities for Crafts
Digital Training Programme Masterclasses Now Available Online