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87. How it’s Made: On Wool with Marianne Mclean-Atkins
On this episode, we’re taking a deep dive into wool production with Marianne Mclean-Atkins, a textile designer and knitwear specialist with 20 years of experience working as an in-house designer for Asia-based apparel suppliers, doing everything from concept to execution. She is currently Sustainable Fashion Education Director at Redress in Hong Kong. We go through the various stages of the production of wool, starting from the rearing and shearing of the sheep, to the classing of the fleece, degreasing, scouring, spinning, dyeing, blending, and finally the knitting or weaving of the yarn. We also touch on why wool fell out of favour, and what the future looks like for it.
86. How it’s made: On Virgin & Recycled Polyester with Sharon Chen
On this week’s episode, we discuss the production process of a pretty infamous material – polyester, or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and recycled PET, to be precise. Kim is joined by Sharon Chen, the Director Of Business Development at Baichuan Resources Recycling, a leading manufacturer of recycled textiles in China, who speaks about how virgin and recycled PET are manufactured. Sharon tells us about the types of raw materials needed in the process, who they buy these inputs from, and how they’re processed to ultimately become a yarn. She takes us through the spinning, weaving, and dyeing processes and shares a bit about who their customers are. They also talk about why traceability is so important to the company, and how they approach this.
85. Everyday Essentialism: On Differentiating “Brands” from “Suppliers”
We all know that there’s a kind of essentialism that happens in conversations about sustainable fashion (and beyond). It’s shorthand that artificially groups together very diverse groups of people and lumps them according to a single or several defining features. This episode is an open discussion of two such terms: “brand” and “supplier.”