Ladderworks is a publishing platform of various image books and on-line curriculum with the mission to empower over 1,000,000 children to turn into social entrepreneurs. Our present sequence options interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who’re advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy right here! I’m again with the inside track on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the one interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to current this galactic unique with Uyen Tran, the founder and CEO of TômTex Inc. Let’s see what he’s doing to make a optimistic affect on the planet.
Spiffy: Welcome, Uyen! Let’s bounce proper in. What problem are you addressing with TômTex Inc?
Uyen: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! TômTex is a revolutionary bio-based materials, created from two key elements: seashell waste and mushrooms. The firm’s imaginative and prescient is a cruelty-free and eco-friendly different to artificial and animal leathers. It’s constituted of 100% bio-based elements and pure colours with out tanning course of or backing material. On the finish of life, TômTex merchandise could be disassembled and fed again into TômTex manufacturing or totally biodegradable in a pure atmosphere. We not solely use numerous wastes as uncooked materials inputs, however the manufacturing of TômTex additionally consumes considerably much less water, vitality, and land use in comparison with the usual manufacturing of artificial or animal leather-based.
Spiffy: That sounds incredible! What motivated you to do it?
Uyen: I grew up in Da Nang, Vietnam. It’s the epicenter of the wasted textile landfill. I bear in mind rising up sporting second-hand garments, which have been discarded from western international locations. It’s devastating to see my hometown contaminated by textile air pollution and leather-based manufacturing. I used to be a dressmaker for luxurious style manufacturers in NYC and I labored with lots of various kinds of leather-based and artificial material. Nevertheless, it nonetheless made me consider residence but additionally of these toxins. Due to this, I’ve shifted my profession focus to sustainable textiles and based TômTex Inc.
Spiffy: How are you working in direction of a extra equitable world, would you say?
Uyen: TômTex is leveraging renewable sources and pure ‘waste’ supplies to enact our imaginative and prescient. We envision a world the place folks encompass themselves with high-performance supplies sourced immediately from waste, not fossil sources. We’re working with biomaterial scientists within the US and Vietnam to deploy expertise that may be tailor-made and scaled as much as match totally different areas and communities internationally. By utilizing native sources and using native labor, we are going to construct a closed-loop manufacturing system to spice up the native financial system whereas sustaining and enhancing the standard of life and a sustainable atmosphere sooner or later.
Spiffy: Inform me a few latest milestone/initiative by you or your org. What affect does that make?
Uyen: Together with the awards and the biotech group’s help, forming a robust workforce is my biggest achievement thus far. Lately, we have been delighted to welcome a brand new co-founder and Chief Safety Officer – Ross McBee from Columbia College. With a devoted workforce of designers, scientists, and businessmen, we work throughout trade boundaries to supply this sustainable materials to everybody and to assist shield the earth. At TômTex, I need to construct a tradition the place everybody feels accepted, valued, and has a way of belonging. We create an atmosphere that fosters transparency, belief, empowerment, and empathy.
Spiffy: That sounds fantastic. Please share an expertise once you confronted failure and did not surrender. What did you study from it?
Uyen: Early in my profession, I discovered a priceless lesson when the fabric I selected for considered one of my designs wasn’t pure material, it was polyester material. In the end, the type was produced in 1,000 items, which contributed to textile air pollution for the reason that polyester material shouldn’t be biodegradable for years. After I realized what I had accomplished improper, I instantly took accountability. From that mistake, I at all times select pure and sustainable material over artificial ones. After realizing the affect materials has on us, I switched my profession to textile design with the imaginative and prescient of making extra sustainable supplies.
Spiffy: What’s one thing you have unexpectedly discovered from somebody just lately?
Uyen: My nephew taught me that there is not any one proper solution to do issues. The truth that children discover ways to do issues on their very own typically results in them discovering higher methods to perform their duties. This can be a easy however complete lesson that may be utilized to the startup world, the place I needed to adapt by adopting progress mindsets, studying new expertise, and embracing flexibility. I imagine that the world could be a way more refreshing place if all of us had extra childlike mindsets.
Spiffy: Sensible phrases, Uyen. Thanks for talking with me in the present day—it’s been an honor!
Uyen Tran is a textile-material researcher and designer initially from Viet Nam and now primarily based in New York, who goals to ascertain a viable and full system of biodegradable materials merchandise. Her aim is to create an eco-friendly, sustainable enterprise mannequin grounded in zero-waste and nil air pollution. Uyen is captivated with innovating expertise and ideas by means of a groundbreaking materials revolution. (Nominated by Julie Wolf at IndieBio. First printed on the Ladderworks web site on January 14, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to assist Ok-3 children advance the UN SDGs, go to Spiffy’s Nook here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the creator and don’t essentially replicate these of Nasdaq, Inc.