Contemporary textile design

„Contemporary textile design” deals with each semester varying topics, which relate within the societal and technically relevant context to textile and clothing. It is aimed at bachelor students of all degree programmes of the faculty. The objective of the course is to convey an understanding of sustainable textile design to students and applying this in the design of sustainable textile products. Students learn about methods, background information and design strategies concerning sustainable textile design, for example “Design4Recycling Jeans” or “the trouser of the future”.

Open Design Spaces

“Open Design Spaces” is an interdisciplinary and research-oriented course with intern and extern cooperating partners. Students get introduced to contemporary design research by a project-based approach. Design projects from the realm of real design praxis and concerning current research topics in sustainable fashion and textile design are offered and supervised by a professor, for example Zero Waste Fashion, Zero Emission Denim.

Green and sustainable logistics

Every summer semester the elective course “green and sustainable logistics” takes place. The elective course is offered to students of the German bachelor programmes. Aspects and strategies of the logistic industry dealing with the challenges of green and sustainable logistics are discussed in this elective course. At the same time students are made aware of how they as consumers but also as future decision-makers can influence many of those business processes.


The learner is able to identify responsibilities of natural resources and name relevant laws and regulations. The students know the triple bottom line, a model for sustainability and CSR. Furthermore they know the most important social as well as environmental standards and their impact for the textile value chain and the most important CSR standards. The students know the basic theory of ecology and the origin of hazardous chemicals in textile and clothing industry. They are able to explain the green house effect and how to avoid relevant emissions within the textile chain. Furthermore they know about business specific eco labels within the textile production chain as well the basic principle of REACH. The communication will be improved by a team presentation about ecological relevant topics.

SCM and sustainability

Students learn about sustainability concepts and CSR-standards based on the three-pillar model.

Furthermore, they learn about the most important social and environmental standards and know about the challenges of implementing those into the textile chain. After completing the module Supply Chain Management students should be able to assess concepts according to classic economical and ecological factors.

Business Ethics & Environmental Management

These subjects focus on the comprehensive management of sustainability issues in an organization. This includes among other things identifying relevant issues, developing a sustainability strategy like a CSR-management suitable for the organization, including relevant stakeholder and sustainability reporting. Environmental accounting as well as social issues like labour and human law are discussed. Other important topics are compliance and preventing corruption, ethical behaviour and an outlook on sustainable consumerism.


If you want to advocate for humane working conditions both nationally and internationally, you’ll get a good theoretical and practical basis in these courses. Accident prevention and preventing diseases caused by the workplace as well as designing efficient, secure and healthy working processes are part of the lectures.

inno produktdesign
Innovative product design

„Innovative product design“ is a course of the Master degree programme that challenges the students each year to see and use textile products in new and visionary ways. The design/concept of a textile or object builds its foundation for sustainability. Be it clothing, furniture or shoes – textiles conquer new product areas constantly. A product has to be holistically planned and very well thought out, starting at the choice of material to the production process and the usage up to the end of the product life cycle. Experts of the industry support the lectures regularly with professional know-how and advice.

Experimental Knitting

From the yarn to the textile, from the textile to the product. The knitting technology with all its technological possibilities can be used as a creative outlet for Master’s students in the elective course “Experimental Knitting”. Typically, we focus – in the spirit of sustainability – on one material per semester and explore its material borders: knit and form up to the finishing. Using “monomaterials” makes recyclability possible, experiments with products aim for production without material waste (Zero Waste). The range of materials includes natural fibres like wool or linen, as well as bioplastics made of vegetable matter (PLA).

Virtual 3D-Knit Design

Virtual product development is a part of sustainability in the textile industry, because work intensive sampling and development processes are simplified, shorten and replaced. Virtual design of patterns, knit and products gains in importance especially within the flat knitting sector, where starting with the yarn knit and form have to be developed. The elective course “Virtual 3D-Knit Design” is open to Master’s students of various fields of study. In accordance with the requirements of the industry 4.0, the virtual models replace time-consuming sampling processes and prototyping. At the same time, they are the preliminary stage of the realization in form of knit programming. The usage ranges from company-intern sampling to virtual showrooms as a sales tool. They reduce costs, time, logistic effort and material usage globally and thus enable individual products and a lot size of 1 – all while also supporting sustainability.

Finishing and ecology

The lecture is an introduction to the processes and machines of textile finishing and connects this with sustainable usage of resources like energy, water and raw materials for chemical auxiliaries. Methods of water purification through biological clarification stages and membrane filtration for recirculation of process water are just two of the topics dealt with in this course. Further topics are consumer protection in regards to eco-labels, where the eco-label Ökotex Standard 100 is discussed exemplary. The Apparel Coalition and Greenpeace have made lists, that show which chemicals should be avoided and substituted. The students learn about those lists and the functionality of chemicals like azo dyes, non ionogenic tensides and perfluorinated tensides: what are or were they used for and how can they be replaced? Finally, aspects of clothing physiology using the example of functional textiles (membranes, fleece) and different finishing methods (coating, laminating, napping and shearing) are discussed. 

Final Thesis, Study work and Projects

Students can work on sustainability strategies of companies or current research projects in their Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis. Colleagues from the teaching, the research institutes FTB and A.U.G.E. as well as from the EthNa competence centre CSR supervise theses in this field. In their study works or projects students can deepen their knowledge of certain topics and sustainability projects take place regularly within the scope of the fifth semester projects.

The student group fairquer reports about sustainability in the clothing industry, wants to educate and show alternatives: www.fairquer.org/

Furthermore, the association FEMNET e.V. organises workshops with a feminist view on the textile industry, politics and society: https://femnet.de/

The faculty works in the steering committee Fair Trade Town Mönchengladbach and takes part in the yearly national “fair week”: 


Furthermore, the faculty Textile and Clothing Technology hosts an sustainability day in November together with other faculties.


The Research Institute for Textile and Clothing at the Hochschule Niederrhein works on complex projects to improve the sustainability of the textile chain. Each year around 65 Bachelor’s and Master’s students work on these projects as assistants or within their final thesis. www.hs-niederrhein.de/ftb/

The A.U.G.E.-institute as well as the EthNa competence centre CSR work on research- and development projects in the field of CSR, ethic and sustainability. They are publicly funded but also companies can commission research. Furthermore, the EthNa competence centre CSR also runs a website which provides knowledge and help for employees of the textile and clothing industry as well as for customers. www.csr-textil-bekleidung.de


Videos for the fifth semester projects made by students

The fifth semester projects are an important part of the degree courses of the faculty Textile and Clothing Technology.
Students of all degree courses – the German ones “Design-Ingenieur” and “Textil- und Bekleidungstechnik” as well as the English degree programme “Textile and Clothing Management” - form interdisciplinary teams that work autonomously and under practical conditions on their project. As a result they learn about project management and its challenges, while deepening their knowledge on a certain topic.
Those topics increasingly focus on sustainability as you can see in the videos for the final presentation.

"The social T"

WS 13/14: Projekt-Team 29

Projekt-Thema: "Generation-D. Ideen für Deutschland. Gemeinsam Anpacken"

Team: Carolin Opgen-Rhein (Projektleiterin), Jahn Beckmann, Anja Huber, Sina Molitor, Svenja Morbach, Tim Overkamp, Emma Spät, Laura Wegmann, Sophia Wiskott

"The Social T"

fairquer - Image Film

WS 18/19: Projekt-Team 12

Thema: Erstellung einer Homepage und eines Imagefilms für die studentische Initiative „fairquer“

Team: Lisa Maire Gudehus (Projektleiterin), Nilay Aydin, Alina Berger, Lena Gerrards, Pauline Holstein, Johanna Klein, Greta Kühme, Ermina Matosi, Katharina Sittner


Epson GmbH - Neue Produktionsmodelle

WS 18/19: Projekt-Team 25

Thema: Neue Produktionsmodelle - Vom digitalen Druck bis zur Konfektion

Team: Maike Vierkötter (Projektleiterin), Asli Acar, Carolin Baer, Anna-Charlott Buttkus, Hanna Konrad, Aneta Petkova, Kim Winkler, Hannah Zukunft

Epson Microfactory

Epson GmbH - Fashion Microfactory

WS 18/19: Projekt-Team 25

Thema: Neue Produktionsmodelle - Vom digitalen Druck bis zur Konfektion

Team: Maike Vierkötter (Projektleiterin), Asli Acar, Carolin Baer, Anna-Charlott Buttkus, Hanna Konrad, Aneta Petkova, Kim Winkler, Hannah Zukunft

Fashion Microfactory