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Interview: Tricia Carey
April 5. 2018
More than seventeen years ago Tricia started with Courtaulds Fibers NY to develop the marketing for an innovative new fiber, called TENCEL®.  Her global sourcing experience assists brands and retailers to evaluate supply chains and realize effective means of using Lenzing Fibers. Currently, Tricia manages Lenzing’s global business development for the denim market and is head of the team for USA brands and retailers.

+ What will you focus on during your Transparency talk?

Transparency is quite a broad topic. Andrew [Olah] and I were discussing Transformers and it became clear that my perspective is about “The Evolution of Transparency.” When I started working in Business Development of TENCEL(TM) Lyocell in 1998, I did not even mention sustainability and now it is typically one of the first points. How did the fashion industry reach this point? Where are we going in the future?

+ Why is Transparency important?

The apparel industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. Transparency is one aspect of sustainability. It is a way to quantify, verify, and communicate what a company is doing to reduce their environmental footprint. Transparency also reduces the hazard of green-washing. It allows a level playing field for the customer to make an informed buying decision.  

+ What do you want the audience to take away from your talk?

It is progress, not perfection. I want the audience to realize we have made progress and we will continue to move forward if we work collaboratively and communicate properly. We realize that sustainability saves the environment, but it can also cost more to the supply chain and consumer. 

+ What type of response do you wish to receive from the audience?

I hope the audience is inspired by the Transformers event and can implement new ideas into their own work or even find new collaborators.

+ What company outside of the apparel industry is doing a good job in regards to Transparency?

Tesla is not only tackling new ways for reduction of oil in the automobile industry, but they are also transparent with an open source philosophy. Not a bad looking car design either!

+ What person in the apparel industry do you consider inspiring?

I enjoy the stories of Yvon Chouinard, who is regarded as a pioneer in sustainability and transparency. I also find inspiration in the emerging and next-generation leaders like Jessica Schreiber, founder of FabScrap – a non-profit collecting textile waste in NYC. It is about progress…

+ What book about Transparency should the audience read?

I remember 10 years ago when I first read Let Your People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, who is authentically honest. It struck me at that time how there is the need to balance the planet, people, and profit. I also enjoy podcasts like Greenbiz, Sustainability Defined, and Green Connections Radio to keep updated on the news and views in sustainability.
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