209 – Sarah Tenney of Blue Export Group – Getting Smart with Shells

Sarah Tenney

Smart fabric made from macadamia nut shells in Hawaii…

Sarah Tenney Sarah Tenney, President of Blue Export Group in Hawaii (a company providing services and source materials for those aiming to expand their Smart Fabric products to overseas buyers from Honolulu Hawaii), joins hosts Marc Raco, Pavan Bahl and Rob Sanchez on location at the WEAR Conference in San Francisco. Powered by Sennheiser.

Reinvigorating emerging tech, carbon from macadamia nuts, and conductive and thermal qualities of the shells

Sarah Tenney Tenney discusses why she is at the WEAR Conference, how the US is behind in smart fabric development, the efforts to reinvigorate emerging tech, and wanting to manufacturer their own fabrics. She covers advancements in uniforms, how the company started prototyping fabrics looking into creating conductive fabrics to create a lighting system in medical scrubs, how she is inspired to see fabulous ideas from carbon made of macadamia shells, how the shells offer conductive and thermal qualities, and how there is a value from raw material through supply chain.

Walter filtration, Hawaiian isolation, and prototypes

Macadamia nut shells and producing carbon, how one way fabric is made is extrusion so one can embed things like macadamia nut shells into it. Also, coatings. And fasteners or thread that have conductive qualities can help with water filtration, even nano-level coatings. How this idea started, finding a real-deal advisor and the right partners, how the infrastructure is there in Hawaii, but the opportunity for working with people there is not. Plus, partnering with the university system and creating the first smart fabric innovations course. The goal of getting macadamia nuts and turning them into a yarn, then the rest comes from that. Issues in Hawaii of isolation, building something that can sustain, and a tough environment for equipment and machinery. How the resulting strategy is to get things into prototypes, dealing with waste and sustainability constraints on islands, developing products that fit within the island ecosystem, how conductive fabrics and threads are a big thing, and turning to WEAR Conference because it shows what’s top of mind.

Environmental considerations, Pono, and hamburger trauma

Considering the environmental impact of removing the macadamia nut shells, a chance for growers to get residual income from shells now, and how Hawaii has success taking care of the environment as a part of its culture. Off the Grid Questions cover special spots in Hawaii, a ridge above Hanauma Bay, hula, a trauma of the best, small, unfinished hamburger ever, the concept of Pono (doing something right), and loving getting East and West coasts together in a way that doesn’t happen often on the islands.

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