About WEAR


WEAR (Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible Innovation) Sustain is a 2 year, €3m project, funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative to engage art, design and creative industries to work more closely with technology and engineering industries, to shift the development of the wearables and e-textile landscape towards a more sustainable and ethical approach.

WEAR Sustain fosters cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral collaboration through the co-design and co-development of ethical, critical and aesthetic wearable technologies and smart textiles. Our aim is to develop a framework within which future prototypes can be made, to become examples of what the next generation of wearables, and e-textiles, could or should be. The project will lead new approaches to design, production, manufacturing and business models to help entrepreneurs, stakeholders and citizens become more aware of the issues involved in making and using wearable technologies, and demand better from technology companies, manufacturers and governments. The project runs between January 2017 and December 2018.


Wear objectives:


  • To encourage cross-border and cross-sector collaboration between artists, designers and technology developers through two thematic Open Calls;
  • To build a sustainable and structured dialogue and the organisation of local and international networking events and symposia;
  • To set-up a pan-European WEAR Sustain network of stakeholders and local advocacy hubs, to connect and push the boundaries in the design and development of critical, ethical and aesthetic wearables;
  • To develop local hubs across Europe to become future advocacy centres for wearable technologies, with a mandate for ethical – critical – aesthetic development processes;
  • To create a Sustainability Strategy and Toolkit that will set the benchmark for ethical and sustainable technology development.


All stakeholders across Europe are invited to participate and share in WEAR activities. We invite art, design and technology practitioner to apply to one of our funded Open Calls, all stakeholders to Join our online network, to take part in Sustain activities. We encourage all parties to actively share our learning outcomes and to help increase awareness and adoption of ethics and sustainability in this field.

Our Funding

WEAR (branded WEAR Sustain) has been funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Action ICT-36-2016 Creativity and Sustainability topic, to boost synergies between artists and technologists. The call recognises that the arts are gaining prominence as a catalyst of an efficient conversion of Science and Technology knowledge into innovative products, services, and processes, and seeks to widen the exchange of skills of artists and technologists, thus creating a common language and understanding. This topic is an umbrella for the STARTS (S&T&ARTS) initiative, fostering innovation at the nexus of ‘Science, Technology and the Arts’, with which WEAR Sustain collaborates.