INSPIRING INNOVATION: The robots are coming! This development may be good for the environment, but is this the beginning of the end for garment workers in production countries? | Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

INSPIRING INNOVATION: The robots are coming! This development may be good for the environment, but is this the beginning of the end for garment workers in production countries?

The United States Military is required to make their clothing in the United States. But because very little clothing is produced in the United States today the U.S. Military needed to find alternative solutions. Enter Pete Santora, who launched SoftWear Automation 13 years ago to respond to this challenge. 

September 18th, 2019 17 minutes 42 seconds
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About this episode

The United States Military is required to make their clothing in the United States. But because very little clothing is produced in the United States today the U.S. Military needed to find alternative solutions. Enter Pete Santora, who launched SoftWear Automation 13 years ago to respond to this challenge. Today his technology, which automates sewing by using robotics, is ready to be scaled not only in the U.S., but around the world. In this fascinating, fast paced discussion Pete and Mike discuss the environmental benefits of automation, Pete’s perspectives on whether his technology will make garment workers in production countries obsolete (“Robotics did not kill the automotive industry, tariffs did…”), and why joint ventures and increased R&D investment are the only ways to accelerate the transformation of the apparel and textiles industry. Think google vs. the textile industry…

 

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About the host

Michael Schragger has been working at the intersection between sustainability, business, society and research for more than 25 years. He is an expert in analysing the impacts of environmental and social developments on business and society and mobilising stakeholders to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDGs). In 2009 Michael founded the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) in order to dramatically improve environmental and human rights performance within the fashion and apparel industry. Michael participates as a senior advisor for a range of global sustainable apparel initiatives, ranging from finance to policy. He is a member of the steering group for The United Nation’s Climate Action in Fashion Charter. He also co-founded and directs The Swedish Textiles Initiative for Climate Action.

Michael currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Erika and kids Oz and Blimah (who, unfortunately, refuse to listen to his podcasts…).