The plastic problem: in search of low carbon alternatives for plastics
Director of Materials, Boardriders
Brenda leads Operations & Sales in Asia at First Mile. First Mile creates fair wage opportunities in developing countries to turn trash into high quality fabric. This is sold to major apparel and footwear brands, creating value for the communities, the environment, brand partners and the company itself. Integrating community development into her professional life has been a core value throughout her career. She most recently took this passion into her role as Head of Production at Who Gives a Crap - a company who donates their profits to building sanitation systems in areas where people don't have access to a toilet (which is about 1/3 of the world's global population). At Who Gives a Crap she looked after quality, cost and delivery. Prior to taking her current role in 2016, she spent four years at VF, most recently as Senior Material Manager of its $1 billion+ footwear division comprising Vans, Timberland, North Face and Reef. She also managed the construction of $20 million manufacturing plants in Dominican Republic and Cambodia under VF’s Third Way partnership that focuses on responsible sourcing and community building. She was named Employee of the Year in 2015 for all of Asia in recognition of social impact projects she created in Cambodia including a mobile clinic to serve areas without access to physicians and a nutrition program at a school for abandoned children. Brenda previously worked in the automotive sector at Guildford Performance Textiles. She earned her BS in Polymer and Color Chemistry at NC State after being awarded the North Carolina Textile Foundation Centennial Scholarship. Born in Tabasco, Mexico, and raised in the United States, she has lived in Beijing, Dominican Republic and Hong Kong. She speaks native Spanish and English, and basic Mandarin. She also once spent a year performing latin dance with a travelling dance company.
CEO & Founder, Mango Materials
Dr. Molly Morse is the CEO and co-founder of Mango Materials, a San Francisco Bay Area-based, next generation, biomanufacturing, start-up company. Mango Materials converts abundant methane gas into low-cost, high-value, biodegradable materials. We believe waste facilities are the goldmines of the future and we are dedicated to building closed loop, cradle-to-cradle technologies in order to recycle carbon naturally and sustainably. Molly received her Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering–with an emphasis on anaerobic biodegradation of biocomposites for the building industry–from Stanford University, and her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Morse has contributed to multiple patents, publications and presentations. Along with other Mango Materials team members, she is currently working to up-scale the biomanufacturing technology of using methane gas to produce biodegradable materials.
moderator Managing Director (APAC), Forum for the Future: moderator