March 31, 2015: Professional Development Seminar
Greg Scott, Kerri McKenzie, and Joel Mertens

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall

Industry and Market Perspective: Reducing the Environmental Footprint of the Textile Industry

Abstract: 

The textile industry has a significant environmental impact through its chemical, water, and energy consumption. Complexity of the supply chain coupled with market pressures makes it challenging to advance sustainability initiatives. This talk highlights the impacts of the textile supply chain and how MEC has driven change within the supply chain through reframing the conversation on product sustainability attributes as quality attributes and partnering with industry peers to advance common goals.

Presenters:

Greg Scott is the Director of Materials for the MEC Brand of products. His educational background was in Mechanical Engineering but considers his most valuable experience to be from many years of adventure travel around the world by bike; and meeting people onsite at factories and textile mills. Greg has worked at MEC for almost 20 years in roles including product buying, product management, materials and factory sourcing, material technologies development, and over 10 years of industry project collaborations regarding social and environmental best practices in product manufacturing … a.k.a. Product Sustainability. Some of the most valuable outcomes of these collaborations have been understanding material recycling systems and challenges with product take-back programs, the Eco-Index work within the Outdoor Industry, setting up of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Higg Index, and helping to integrate EHS Best practices into supply chain management inclusive of supporting and scaling the bluesign system as means of managing chemical inputs in material and product manufacturing.

Kerri McKenzie is a senior Materials Developer at MEC in Vancouver, BC. and received her diploma in Fashion Merchandising from the Blanche MacDonald Institute. Kerri has worked in Apparel Buying, Merchandising, Production Management and Product Development in Canada, England and Hong Kong. She brings nearly 30 years of industry experience to the job and has played a key role in developing and scaling many supply chain initiatives at MEC, including switching to organic cotton and bluesign materials. When not immersed in the world of textiles Kerri can be found hanging off rock faces in Squamish or riding her bike around town.

Joël Mertens is the Material Technologies Integrity Engineer at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). A graduate from UBC, his background in Chemical and Materials Engineering provides the foundation for his role in furthering MEC’s goals in product sustainability and quality through the lens of material technologies. In his two years with MEC Joël has tested and evaluated material properties and attributes in the MEC Materials Testing Laboratory and also worked directly with suppliers to develop new materials for a range of product applications. Through these experiences, Joël helps integrate and provide context to industry sustainability initiatives and best practices back into MEC’s materials development practices and supply chain while maintaining category relevance and functionality.