Open call for Shemakes labs

Sunday 21st November, 2021 - Bruce Sterling

*Imagine somebody *paying* you to create a fashion lab.

Shemakes is holding an open call for 12 new Labs to join our network. Winning labs will each receive €15,000 to carry out community activities that advance the role of women in the fashion, textile and clothing industry.

Deadline for applications: November 30, 2021
Funds to be allocated for activities in January – June 2022

Within the EU, the gender pay gap stands at 16%, and 30% of this gap is due to the overrepresentation of women in low paying sectors, something that is definitely the case in the textile and clothing sector.

Through the shemakes project, women develop their tech skills and/or learn how to conduct innovative research, engage with their local community or build a new business: all routes to making a better textile and clothing sector in the future.

The shemakes consortium is a European partnership of 10 entities from 7 countries. They are part of a larger community that builds on synergies between two existing networks bringing innovation to the Textile sector: Fabricademy, a Textile and Technology Academy that innovates through the intersection of textiles, digital fabrication and biology; and TCBL, Textile and Clothing Business Labs, that co-designs innovation in research labs and tests it in local communities and businesses. 

Through this Call, the shemakes consortium is looking to fund 12 new shemakes Labs to cooperate with us in order to develop tech-based-innovation activities and engage for change with research & education institutes, local communities and businesses; focusing on three target groups: girls and teens (8-18), young women (18-25) and women 25+.

Why become a Shemakes Lab?

During the project:

Receive funds that will cover the purchase of materials, tools and small equipment to conduct relevant activities at your lab
Learn from and connect with shemakes “gurus” from the six partner labs
Collaborate with one of shemakes ambassadors who will travel to your lab and help develop activities for your community
Co-design innovation by and for women in the Textile and Clothing sector
Test innovation in real environments, with non-profit associations and like-minded businesses

From the network:

Get access to the knowledge generated by the community
Use shemakes platform services
Showcase your collaborative work on the shemakes platform
Gain access to the combined networks of Fabricademy and TCBL and participate in their events
Develop synergies with other members in the network for future funds and collaborations.

The application process & evaluation

Fill in the forms: Online Application Form (below) and Declaration of Honour / Financial declaration (download PDF). Upload them online before the deadline 17.00 CET on 30 November, 2021. Please note that late or incomplete applications will be rejected.
Ensure that your lab fits into the lab typologies listed and is located in the preferred countries listed in document “Guide for Applicants” (see documentation, below).
Each Application Form will be evaluated by 3 consortium partners: 1 sponsoring partner that you may choose from among those hosting one of the 6 initial Labs (who will mentor and help for all questions you may have) and two partners selected randomly. Then all the evaluations will be collectively reviewed by all Consortium partners in one or more on-line meetings.
Your score will be based on 4 evaluation criteria that correspond to the key sections of the Application Form: a) infrastructure and network, b) knowledge and experience, c) action plans for shemakes targets and d) gender and innovation vision. Each criteria will be evaluated on a scale of 1-5 (maximum 20 points) with a threshold of 2 for each criteria and 12 for your total score.
Following the evaluation of individual applications, the selection criteria will be applied to the set that are above threshold. This is necessary to ensure that we reach our contractual obligation to represent at least 16 EU Member States and/or Associate Countries (see the Guide for Applicants for a list of these countries) in the final network of 18 Shemakes labs (6 initial labs plus the 12 new labs to be selected by this call), in addition to a representative diversity of lab types.
Results will be communicated on December 15th, 2021.
Winning labs will each receive direct funding of €15,000 for their cooperation with one of the partner labs of the shemakes project.
If accepted, your lab will then connect with one of the six mentoring labs to define your specific work plan within shemakes. You will receive the funds through a subcontract with one of the Shemakes consortium partners that will specify: activities, planning, support from the mentoring lab, reporting results, reporting costs. The activities for new shemakes labs will take place between January and June 2022, with follow-up, reporting, and participation in shemakes events possibly continuing through December 2022.

For more information

Discover more about the Shemakes project and lab activities by exploring the project website (
Participate in a Zoom Q&A session on Monday, November 22 at 15:00 pm CET 
If you have questions, email

Application documentation

Fill out the online form here
Download and make use of the below attached documentation