The Technopreneurial Hub: An Innovative Entrepreneurial Approach to Minimise Clothing and Textile Waste


  • Sweta Patnaik CPUT



The clothing and textile industry contribute over all 4% share of global greenhouse gas emissions that starts from initial raw material extraction up until the end-of-use disposal. The root cause being mass-produced fast fashion that is easily and cheaply replaced thus resulting in very large volumes of unwanted clothing that has to be dealt with effectively including the leftover fabrics and offcuts. The "Sustainability Clothing and Textile Project” took shape in 2019 where the students from a University of Technology based in South Africa were tasked to use off cut (leftover fabric edges and trims) fabrics from finished garments in the laboratory that would have otherwise been thrown away as waste and ended on the landfill sites. The project objectives were for the learners to ‘think out of the box’, be innovative and use critical thinking skills to create meaningful products while introducing the concept of sustainability and technopreneurial skills. Technopreneurship refers to the practice of combining technology and entrepreneurship, where individuals or organizations leverage technological innovations and advancements to create, develop, and manage new ventures or business opportunities. Technopreneurs are individuals who identify and capitalize on technology-based business ideas, utilizing their entrepreneurial skills to bring these ideas to fruition. Through this research we focus on providing an entrepreneurial support, addressing job creation and curriculum development. The research will also address the societal challenges in South Africa for the vulnerable sections of the society for whom these opportunities are limited and at the same time generating new entrepreneurs or increasing accessibility to the job market, creating hope for the future.