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.”
84. Decarbonization – Three Manufacturers on Whether They Have Mapped Pathways for Achieving their Decarbonization Targets
Do apparel manufacturers have mapped pathways for achieving their decarbonization targets, or not? This episode features responses to this question from three different manufacturers: Mustafa Ahmad the General Manager of Sustainability for US Apparel & Textiles in Pakistan, Krishna Manda the Vice President of Corporate Sustainability for Lenzing, and Matthew Guenther, the Director of Environmental Sustainability for TAL Apparel.
83. Manufactured x Asia Garment Hub: Decarbonization – Practical Tips for Talking to Manufacturers About Decarbonization
This is an audio version of a piece I wrote for the Asia Garment Hub called “Practical Tips for Talking to Manufacturers About Decarbonization.”
082. Manufactured x Transformers Foundation: Decarbonization – Perspectives from the Denim Supply Chain
This conversation brings together representatives from different levels of the denim supply chain: brand (Boysih Jeans), mill (Candiani), and farm (the Sourcery). We talk about which part(s) of making a pair of jeans has the biggest impact on carbon emissions? Do we know? We talk about the possibilities: what role can companies operating in different parts of the denim supply chain can take towards reducing carbon emissions. And we also talk about the limits: what challenges do companies face when it comes to reducing carbon emissions? The conversation is an edited version of a webinar Kim moderated for Transformers Foundation.
081. Decarbonization – Sid Amalean on MAS’s Decarbonization Opportunities and Challenges
Why did MAS sign-up for science-based targets? What are their challenges? What kind of support is needed from brands and retailers?
Special Edition: Support Flood Relief for Pakistani Cotton Growers
This is a short message from Crispin Argento, Co-founder and MD of Sourcery, about a fundraiser they’re doing to support Pakistani cotton growers adversely impacted by current flooding.
080. Manufactured x Transformers Foundation: The Higg Data Debate Part 2 – Re-Imagining Consumers as Conversation Changers
Will empowering consumers to shop differently really drive fashion’s transformation?