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21 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Episode 19: Katie Elks and JD Davis
Brooklinen is the most popular sheet brand on the internet and has received over 80,000 five star consumer reviews for its products. Katie Elks, Director of Design & Product Development, and JD Davis Production, Procurement & Quality Manager of the multi-award-winning luxury bedding & bath brand, share with us why the brand has become so popular, which definitely has a lot to do with the materials that are sourced. We discuss the company’s dedication to quality, responsible manufacturing and transparency – and what consumer trends have shifted during the pandemic.
35 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Episode 18: Dr. Andrew Dent with Material ConneXion
Dr. Andrew Dent is the executive vice president research at Material ConneXion, a world -class library known for its innovative problem solving and thought-leadership by influential brands across every industry. We discuss a range of topics from how Dr. Dent became interested in material science, his fondness for the human interaction side of materials, and how this combination led him to his post at Material ConneXion where he has been for the last 20 years. We also talk about what sustainability means to him, his passion for waste and the future of material development – it’s looking bright!
37 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Episode 17: Ruth Kelly of SSACHS
Ruth Kelly is the head of materials and materials editor of SSACHS, a design agency for performance and active lifestyle apparel, which also publishes a digital magazine under the same name. We had a fun conversation discussing her journey of leaving her corporate life to join SSACHS with her partners. As a creative fabric expert, thought leader, and educator, Ruth shares insights as to how she approaches material development, what makes a good material partner, how the pandemic has influenced design trends and sustainability, along with the necessary digital marketing tools that are needed to help connect suppliers, mills, and brands. You’ll also discover the meaning behind the name SSACHS!
23 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
Episode 16: Wayne Fan of Frontier
Wayne shares how the Frontier Textile Collaboration Program and other digital tools help bring fabrics to life while also building community between suppliers and brands with respect to fabric samples, inventory, price quotes, and more. He also shares a few lessons he's learned from the pandemic.
25 minutes | Jan 22, 2020
Episode 15: Best of 2019
Happy New Year! While in production with our new 2020 line-up of episodes, we wanted to share some highlights of my conversations with last year’s smart and talented guests whom I was honored to have spent time with. We discovered that sustainability is still a huge topic. While it means many things to different people, sustainability is no longer a trend, but a business approach that’s here to stay. We also learned how collaboration throughout the entire supply chain lifts individual businesses and the industry as a whole. We catch a glimpse into the future with digital manufacturing, robotic tailoring and smart textiles. The thread that ties my guests together, is that they all believe it is an exciting time to be involved with materials. I hope you enjoy!
42 minutes | Nov 29, 2019
Episode 14: James Morin of Flowfold
James Morin, COO and president of sales for Flowfold – a brand of minimalist gear made with some of the strongest and lightest of weight materials – gives us insight on how he’s helped build a small Maine-based company into an international brand. In this episode of Material Wise, James shares how he and his team have formed collaborative partnerships with suppliers, retailers, ambassadors, and non-profits to make Flowfold the thriving company it is today.
40 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
Episode 13: Gihan Amarasiriwardena
Gihan Amarasiriwardena is the co-founder/president of Boston-based Ministry of Supply, a sleek and modern brand of performance professional apparel that launched in 2012. Gihan shares how he and his colleague, co-founder/CEO, Aman Advani, both MIT students at the time, shared a desire to create professional apparel that had the same performance benefits as their favorite athletic pieces. We learn how the brand got its start, the significance of its name and the role materials, attention to design and fit play into each and every piece to make the apparel scientifically better. www.ministryofsupply.com
59 minutes | Sep 10, 2019
Episode 12: Elizabeth Whelan
Textile designer, Elizabeth Whalen’s materials can be found in work environments and on athletes all over the world. She creates textiles for brands like Humanscale, Nike, Tumi and more. Elizabeth voices her views on her personal design philosophy, stance on sustainability - really good design is sustainable - and the need for design inclusivity in technological development. As one of the 4% of female patent holders, she recognizes that there is a lot of brain trust that in the design world, especially by women, that needs to support and encouragement to come forth.
31 minutes | Jun 19, 2019
Episode 11: Louisa Smith
With over 24 years of international experience in the global fashion and textile industry, Louisa combines her creative know-how with market and product development intelligence to ensure an accurate forecast. Louisa shares how her intuition in the early days - followed by her curiosity, vision, and research - led her to where she is today. She gives insight as to how she anticipates consumer needs up to 3 years in advance. Louisa also shares her views on sustainability (a smarter way of thinking), top trend-inspiring cities, and how she stays relevant.
26 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
Episode 10: Emily Walzer of Textile Insight
Those of you who follow performance textiles are most likely familiar with Emily Walzer, a savvy journalist who's had direct access to leading active sports and lifestyle brands heads since the '80s. Today, Emily is the editor and co-publisher of Textile Insight, a trade publication that focuses on the world of textile design, innovation, and its exciting product applications. I’ve known Emily as long as she’s been covering the sports/textile markets. It was wonderful to sit down and have a conversation in her home office about her career path in publishing, her key takeaways from the latest trade shows, current textile trends and growing industry concern over sustainability and social responsibility. Emily reveals how she fuels her creativity, which always seems to find its way to inspire us with her informative stories you can find at textileinsight.com. I hope you enjoy!
33 minutes | Mar 6, 2019
Episode 09: Jay Adams of Brass Clothing
Jay Adams is co-founder of Brass Clothing, a curated collection of women’s foundation pieces designed with impeccable style, fit and easy-to-care-for materials. Jay launched Brass with partner, Katie Demo, in 2014 after both being fed up with fast fashion, and closets full of crap. Jay says Brass looks at a woman’s entire life, and how her wardrobe interacts with It, before designing pieces that simplify her wardrobe - so she can focus on things that really matter to her. According to Jay, Brass has built a strong community of smart, successful, strong, and passionate women who've been a big part of the brand’s success. Jay and chat about her background, how she and her partner have built such a strong community – and Brass' new inclusive sizing. And of course, we dive into the materials she selects and sources for this unique apparel collection. www.brassclothing.com.
32 minutes | Feb 15, 2019
Episode 08: Best of 2018
As we are deep in production with our new Material Wise 2019 episodes, we wanted to review a few of last year's episodes and recap some of the highlights. We had a great year speaking with Jill McGowan with Jill McGowan, Inc., Erin Bornstein with Timberland, Miles Spadone with Spadone Home, Nick Armentrout with Ramblers Way, Rob Naughter with Patagonia, Justin Seale with Architec and Myrand Caputo with Bespoke Branded Fit. We learned that transparency, social responsibility throughout the supply chain has become increasingly important as is designing products with longevity in mind. New body scanning techniques are trending as people are demanding a more custom fit. Among all my discussions, there is one common thread, and that is great products are inspired by great materials. I hope you enjoy the highlights!
27 minutes | Nov 15, 2018
Episode 07: Myranda Caputo
With her 20 plus years of technical pattern making and product development experience with brands such as Hanes, Dick's Sporting Goods and L.L. Bean, Myranda Caputo knows a thing or two about how a garment should fit. Upon seeing the recent shift among brands focusing more on developing customized fit standards tailored to their target markets and customers, Myranda realized the growing need for her technical skills and founded Bespoke Branded Fit. In this episode, we talk about how brands go about developing their own fit standards and why there can be such a discrepancy. Myranda shares how function and aesthetic, not to mention materials, are key factors when it comes to fit. She also shares how brands are helping consumers purchase the right size online via interactive fit charts, 3D body scans and more. For more information on Bespoke Branded Fit, visit www.bespokebrandedfit.com.
22 minutes | Oct 17, 2018
Episode 06: Justin Seale
After 20 plus years working in retail, product management and design for notable outdoor-related companies, Justin Seale decided that the time was right to create his own brand – but it had to be different. Combining his sage years of experience with his love of travel, design and textiles, Justin founded ArchiTec – a streamlined collection of men’s adventure apparel based on sustainable materials and inspirational places around the world – designed and built in California. Justin talks about how each collection leads with a particular textile and location in mind to create an experience around a product. He also shares how his trip to New Zealand to meet the growers who produce ArchiTec’s merino wool inspired his new fall’18 ‘Farm to Wear’ New Zealand collection.
30 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
Episode 05: Rob Naughter
With the desire of working on material development with finished goods brands, Rob Naughter came knocking on Patagonia’s door after spending six years as a development engineer with PrimaLoft, a premium insulation for outdoor and home furnishings products. While it took the reputable three interviews, Rob finally landed at Patagonia’s Ventura headquarters as Materials R&D Manager 11 years ago and has moved up the ranks to Patagonia’s Director of Material Innovation and Impact. Rob has pioneered several of the company’s most notable sustainable/tracible material developments such as its 100% Traceable Down Standard and the recent launch of its down-like PlumaFill, which took ten years to come to market. Given that Patagonia fails nearly all materials tested in its labs, we talk about Patagonia’s increased bandwidth on material development and what makes a good material partner. We also discuss the evolution of the Patagonia customer and the company’s love-hate relationship with polyester.
3 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Material Wise is a new podcast created for those involved with or interested in the textiles and materials market hosted by Nancy Fendler, principal of Fendler PR, a communications firm specializing in materials and ingredient marketing. Driven by her deep curiosity, Nancy sets out to speak with designers, product developers and guests in the outdoor, fashion, home furnishings and other industries about what inspires and influences them to create, why and how they select the materials they choose and the relationships they’ve built with their customers and industry.
23 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Episode 01: Jill McGowan
While working as a pattern maker at the Hathaway shirt company – a famed menswear manufacturer, Jill McGowan discovered that there was a big gap between the way men’s and women’s apparel of equal value was made. In 1994, Jill set out to improve the standard of women’s clothing and launched a signature line of shirts under the Jill McGowan brand. Today Jill McGowan products can be found in over 300 specialty shops across the country, its flagship store in Freeport, ME and on its ecommerce site. Jill shares her views on what makes a great shirt, finding the right materials that provide comfort and style, how she partners with suppliers. We also discuss the state of retail, fast fashion and the ever-evolving consumer.
13 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Episode 02: Erin Bornstein
Footwear designer, Erin Bornstein shares how she created the rare opportunity to have full control of the design vision without direct input of other product managers or merchandisers, for a new women’s Timberland collection, which will be available at retail this fall. Erin says her new footwear collection has a kick-*** attitude, just like the woman she’s designing it for. Erin also talks about Timberland’s stand on sourcing sustainable materials and commitment to social initiatives.
24 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Episode 03: Miles Spadone
Miles and Molly Spadone are the brother/sister duo of Spadone Home, an evocative handmade collection of Art Deco influenced terrazzo vessels and Brutalist style concrete planters and bookends. Offspring of artistic parents, Miles shares how he and his sister created Spadone Home, what it’s like working with a sibling, and the never-ending quest to find unique materials and methods to create their distinctive designs.
24 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Episode 04: Nick Armentrout
Nick Armentrout is the supply chain manager of Ramblers Way, a high-quality, sustainable apparel brand founded by Tom and Kate Chappell, founders of the infamous Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and other all-natural products. Nick shares how his background in animal science led him to find and establish relationships Rambouillet sheep, the knitters, dyers and manufactures that all go into the crafting of Ramblers Way apparel. Nick also dives into Ramblers Way’s Global Organic Textile (GOTS) and Cradle to Cradle certifications and how they influence today’s consumer.
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