My guest today is Mie Tingsager Nielsen whose relationship to design and sustainability is expansive. She is a sustainable business advisor at Closed Loop and the manager of The Fabric Source, a sustainable textile library with more than 2,000 sustainable fabrics from more than 200 suppliers around the world that is focused on showcasing the latest and most innovative materials that can be applied across the fashion and textile industry. Join us as we discuss the world of farming fabrics and how textiles made from crops like cotton and hemp are not so different from the agricultural commodities we grow, harvest, and eat.

  • 5:40 Overview of The Fabric Source
  • 7:38 What you need to know about textiles
  • 11:42 New technologies shifting the space
  • 15:33 Brands leading the way
  • 23:08 Mie’s vision for the future

1:45  Mie’s career journey

3:40 What brought Mie into the world of sustainability

When I had my own brand I realized how little control I had over the supply chain of how fabrics are made.

5:40 The Fabric Source

It’s a sustainable material show room.

7:05 Why the word ‘sustainable’ doesn’t serve us anymore

Sustainable just isn’t the right word anymore. It’s never going to be sustainable for us to produce clothes.

7:38 80% of a product’s environmental impact is decided in the design phase. Why is this true?

The fabric has a huge impact. For example, only about 30% of the cotton plant is used.

9:44 What other crops have a big impact?

Around 65% of all textiles are petroleum based.

11:42 What’s the conversation moving towards?

There are new technologies discovering new ways to shift the industry and production like Spinnova in Finland.  

14:00 The low down on hemp

It grows much fast than cotton. It doesn’t need pesticides or nearly as much water, but it’s difficult to break down into fibers.

15:33 The brands leading in this space

Eileens Fischer and Patagonia are two great examples.

21:12 How to design a product’s ending

23:08 What will the future food system look like in 10-15 years?

24:22 What are we missing to achieve that vision?

Time and knowledge. We need more people that can be open about this, transparent, and share the knowledge.

25:49 What collaborations are you looking for

New suppliers and experts to work with in this space! We also want to know about what new technologies are out there.