Welcome at Refinity, an inspiration blog on (textile) product design for a circular economy. While making blog articles and inspiration projects I answer questions like: How can a design be made that is biodegradable or recyclable? Which materials and techniques are needed for that? I am specialized in flexible materials like textiles, non-wovens, yarns and fibres. Currently I work as networkmanager Textiles for MVO Nederland
Refinity aims for products that improve the earth and are infinitely renewable.
Fioen van Balgooi (1988) started Refinity in 2009.
Like many designers I want to make beautiful things. However, during my studies I found out that I don’t want to make products that nobody is waiting for. These days many companies make quick and cheap products with a short life cycle, creating problems with waste, pollution and exploitation. I believe these products aren’t genuine.
Therefore the documentary ‘waste equals food’ about Cradle to Cradle was a real eye opener for me. I realised I could make beautiful designs without feeling guilty. By making conscious choices about every design step of a product, from functionality and material to technique, shape, colour and use it is possible to create a well-designed, eco-effective design.
My parents named me after fine artist Fioen Blaisse and stimulated me to have a broad outlook on life under the motto ‘everything is possible’.
I combine a large amount of creativity with the talent to organise and an eye for detail.
I graduated cum laude from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (Academy of Arts) for both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. During my degree I spend half a year at Ghent (Belgium) to master the ancient techniques of weaving, knitting and designing textile/carpet prints. After my degree I followed the C2C design training of the EPEA (the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency founded by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart) and I got accredited as a Cradle to Cradle design consultant. I work at MVO Nederland since 2015.
For me my professional and private life are completely connected.
I love combinations of materials, textures and colours and for inspiration I like to visit musea, fairs, look around on Pinterest and learn a lot from nature. My outlook on life is also related to my work: for me everything is connected in life cycles. This could be the reason that the Cradle to Cradle concept, also based on life cycles and infinite cycles, attracted me years ago.
To really relax I like colouring, work in the garden, play the harp, read about design and environmental friendly designing or just a chick lit. And of course I try to pursue a durable lifestyle: most of my grocery shopping is organic and/or fairtrade and I buy durable, sustainable or second-hand clothes.
Fioen van Balgooi
“Making beautiful designs without harming people and the environment is definitely possible.”