Last week we were thrilled to launch 10,000 Pounds of Cotton, a project to bring the American farmer back to the table in the fashion industry. Now we're excited to announce a series of discussions with people integral to this project—as well as experts who will shed light on the challenges and opportunities in regional manufacturing that inspired us.
We're calling the series "The Harvest: A Gathering of Conversations for the Future of Cotton."
For our first discussion, we talked to Andrew Burleson, the farmer growing the 10,000 pounds of cotton for our project, and Eric Henry, the head of the team here at Solid State.
Dig deeper into resources mentioned in the discussion
The ideas and references can come a mile a minute in these discussions. So, here are links to some of the businesses and resources mentioned by the speakers.
- Material Return, an innovative textile recycling business committed to circularity referenced by Jon Long of the Carolina Textile District
- SAFSF Fibers Roadmap, authored by that Sarah Kelley, Project Director for the roadmap and Principal, Common Threads Consulting, that features Solid State Clothing as a case study. The roadmap is targeted towards funders interested in food systems, sustainable agriculture, soil health, carbon sequestration, environmental health, and economic justice who "have many compelling reasons to expand their focus to the fiber and textile system."
- Cotton Diaries Founder Marzia Lanfranchi, (also intelligence director for the Transformers Foundation) and journalist Alden Wicker (also on yesterday's call) and their recently released paper "Ending Unethical Brand and Retailer Behavior: The Denim Supply Chain Speaks Up," that sheds light "on the imbalance of power between brands and their suppliers that has existed for years but has been exacerbated by the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic."
Big questions, big opportunities
This first conversation sets up more conversations about how we can move forward collaboratively with a U.S. regional supply chain. Because, wow—the big piece is that we DO have one! If we have a group of businesses (from "dirt to shirt," as Solid State President Eric Henry always says) willing to work WITH us, how can we move forward to create regenerative, healthy soil? How can circularity and measuring environmental and social benefits take center stage in an original way? There are lots of questions, for sure. There's also a huge opportunity to create something new with existing infrastructure.
Next stop: Rolling Hills Gin, Dec. 2 @ 12pm EST
Next stop for The Harvest? Wes Morgan, Manager of Rolling Hills Cotton Gin, talks about the complexities and opportunities of ginning regional cotton. We hope you'll want to be part of this conversation towards building a new vision for textile production here in the U.S.