Empowering future female innovators of the sustainable fashion industry through inspiration, skills and networks


The Challenge

Enhance roles and improve opportunities for women in innovation.

The Solution

Highlight and celebrate the leading role of women in innovation for the textile and clothing industry.

Type of Project

Coordination and Support Action for Science with and for Society in funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under Grant Agreement 101006203.

Project Outputs

An integrated innovation ecosystem promoting gender parity along Learning Paths, Innovation Services and Reputation Management.

The project

SheMakes – Skilled, creative, innovative… Together, it’s a two-year initiative with a consortium of 10 partners in 7 countries, led by the service company of the Textile & Clothing Business Labs (TCBL) network; its activities expand from a first set of 6 core Labs to incorporate 12 ‘transfer’ Labs in a second phase of implementation.

SheMakes blends the approaches of two leading innovation ecosystems – Fabricademy and TCBL, within the textiles and clothing sector and acts to promote, highlight and celebrate the leading role of women in innovation, with the goal of permanently re-shaping the opportunity structures of at least 16 European Member States and Associated Countries. Sustainability is ensured by incorporation of the new learning and service modules into the two pre-existing Fabricademy and TCBL networks, with the diffused uptake of SheMakes results driving impact towards enhanced roles and improved opportunities for women in mainstream economic sectors.

Bridging the gender gap, in its mature phase, means moving through collaboration in scientific sectors towards innovation in business sectors. To carry out this goal, SheMakes develops an integrated innovation ecosystem promoting gender parity along three strategic axes:

Learning Paths, modelled on the Fabricademy curricula, engaging girls and women innovators belonging to three age groups.

– Innovation Services,based on the TCBL Lab Service model, engaging local communities and businesses in collaborative innovation activities as well as carrying out networked multi-Lab innovation projects and validating new business concepts.

– Reputation Management, promotes different types of role models within the community of the girls and women leading the way in the sector’s transformation.

These activities are accompanied by four transversal Work Packages – Opportunity Ecosystem, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, Communication and Dissemination, and Project Management – that ensure their coherence in working towards the overall objectives.

Our Contribution

Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC will define and test Learning Paths from young girls to women innovators, incorporating elements of the Fabricademy program into existing projects and curricula for three age groups through learning experiences.

The three Learning Paths; Curiosity, Discovery and Innovation, will be materialised through a toolkit and report. The Toolkit will be built upon two loops of experimentation: activities and engagement realised with the 6 labs, and activities and engagement realised with the 6 core labs collaborating with the 12 transfer Labs. The first version will provide a set of content to the labs so they can start their learning experiences and a methodology for crafting interventions and co-producing new and original content. Final Toolkit will be designed to address a wider public, providing open educational resources.

Who is it for

Girls aged 8-18
Develop and deploy the Curiosity path for girls aged 8-18 in collaboration with schools, museums, etc.

Young women aged 18-25
Develop and deploy the Discovery path for young women aged 18-25 in collaboration with academies, universities, etc.

Women aged 25 and up
Develop and deploy the Innovation path for women ages 25 and up in collaboration with research and training institutes, startup and accelerator programmes, etc.

Project Partners