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BCGC Board Member Publishes Report on Green Chemistry Innovations in the Textile and Apparel Industries

Marty Mulvihill, co-founder of Safer Made and current board member of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, recently co-authored the publication of an analysis of coming trends in the textile and apparel industry. This report details changes in five key “Innovation Areas” where advances in chemical performance and safety are anticipated to radically alter the textile and apparel industries over the next ten years. The five innovation areas are:

  • New Materials – Synthetic Fibers, Cellulosic Fibers, Leather Alternatives
  • New Safer Chemistries – Safer Finishing Chemistries, Bio-based Dyes
  • Waterless Processing – Waterless Dyeing Processes, Waterless Finishing Processes
  • Fiber Recycling – Cotton, Polyester, Blends, Nylon
  • Supply Chain Information Management Systems – Chemicals Management Information Systems, Traceability systems

The report includes market research and information gathered from brands, suppliers, and start-ups in the textile manufacturing space to provide a comprehensive and thoughtful overview of the coming innovations in this sector.

Copies of the report are available for download at

BCGC Welcomes Amanda Cattermole as its Newest Board Member!

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Amanda Cattermole

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry is excited to welcome Amanda Cattermole of Cattermole Consulting to its executive board. Ms. Cattermole is a sustainability consultant with over twenty years of Green Chemistry experience. She has been a friend to the BCGC for over five years, beginning with her support with the collaboration between Levi Strauss and the Greener Solutions course. Most recently, she joined us at the SAGE Sunset Celebration, partnering with Marty Mulvihill to discuss how hazardous chemicals have spurred green chemistry innovations in the apparel industry. Now the BCGC is fortunate to have her bring her expertise and insight to our board.

Amanda has provided a short bio:

“In 2014, after a 25 year career at Levi Strauss and Company (LS&Co.), Amanda Cattermole founded Cattermole Consulting, a consultancy that helps organizations develop chemical management strategies that result in safer products made in cleaner supply chains.

Through her work, education and experience, she has significant expertise about hazardous chemicals and how they are used in consumer products, especially in the textile and leather industries.

Her services include business development and strategic advice, education and training, communication and developing innovation strategies to drive profitable growth.

Amanda was the technical point person for LS&Co. during the Greenpeace Detox campaign. She was involved in the initial “Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals” multi-stakeholder group and led one of the work-streams, which was tasked with developing and implementing a prioritization framework to phase out hazardous chemicals used in the apparel and footwear supply chains.

Amanda graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Colour Chemistry from Leeds University in 1987 and a Masters degree in Textile Chemistry from UC Davis in 1989.”

BCGC and Millipore Corporation Sign Accord

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry and the EMD Millipore Corporation signed a Confidential Disclosure Agreement in February, 2018, marking the first step toward collaboration on a variety of projects. Chief among them will be the testing and review of Millipore’s DOZN software program, a chemical procedure assessment tool based on the principles of green chemistry, and continuation of BCGC’s work in improving the safety of materials and processes in additive manufacturing (AM).

Green Chemistry Fellow at Millipore Samy Ponnusamy and Executive Director of BCGC Tom McKeag are current participants in Northwest Green Chemistry’s Sustainable Materials Roundtable for Additive Manufacturing Members, an outgrowth, in part, of BCGC consulting work with Autodesk starting in 2015.

Greener Solutions teams visit partners WLGore and MycoWorks

During October, our interdisciplinary graduate student teams in our Greener Solutions course visited our challenge partners, WLGore and MycoWorks. The two partners could not be more different in scale, with WLGore of Delaware a $3B revenue per year company of more than 10,000 employees, and MycoWorks a small startup with a lab in San Francisco. Both companies were interested in getting some fresh ideas on how to make apparel or accessories perform better without toxic ingredients. How do we make safer water and oil repellant clothing, and leather-like products more supple and strong? Our teams got to learn first-hand how some of these products might be made; at the lab in San Francisco, and at the WLGore Innovation Center in Santa Clara, California. The teams will present their final recommendations to our partners on December 5. Stay tuned for more details about this public event!



New Book Chapters about Additive Manufacturing, Sustainability, Bio-inspired Design and Green Chemistry

Executive Director Tom McKeag and former SAGE fellow Jeremy Faludi have just published separate book chapters about developing safer and more sustainable additive manufacturing (AM).

Writing in volume 10, of the Handbook of Green Chemistry: Tools for Green Chemistry, ed. Beach, Kundu and Anastas (Wiley)McKeag proposes twelve themes from bio-inspired design to guide additive manufacturing to safer materials and processes. “Shaping the Future of Additive Manufacturing: Twelve Themes from Bio-inspired Design and Green Chemistry” reviews the current trends in AM, cautions about present practices and outlines how themes like self-organization and hierarchy across linear scales could be applied to the industry.

In The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Government and Business by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Faludi compares the environmental impact of today’s typical 3D printing with two classic manufacturing methods, machining and injection molding, citing life-cycle assessments, scoring greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, material toxicity, resource depletion, and other factors. He and co-authors Cline-Thomas and Agrawala argue for incentives to bring certain 3D manufacturing techniques to the mainstream in order to promote greater sustainability.




Making Additive Manufacturing Safer

In early 2015, the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry initiated a joint project with Autodesk (Project Nido) to assess the resin formulae currently used in their stereolithography (SLA) demonstration printer, the Ember. As an extension of this consulting effort, BCGC and Autodesk agreed to partner in the Greener Solutions course later that fall. An interdisciplinary graduate student team investigated bio-inspired solutions and offered a range of solutions to address the environmental and human health hazard implications of additive manufacturing (AM). Concurrently, Justin Bours, part of the initial consulting team and now funded through a joint BCGC and Northwest Green Chemistry internship program, developed a framework to combine a life cycle assessment with hazard and green design metrics, and tested the framework on different AM materials including a bio-sourced polymer. This work created the foundation for Northwest Green Chemistry to launch a Sustainable Materials Framework Roundtable for Additive Manufacturing initiative in May, 2017.

The Sustainable Materials Framework for Additive Manufacturing Roundtable is sponsored by Northwest Green Chemistry, Autodesk, Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and Washington Department of Ecology. Participants include NGOs, academia, government agencies, material suppliers, material designers, printer manufacturers, end-users, and consulting firms. Now in our second year of focus on additive manufacturing, BCGC is proud to be participating in this industry roundtable as an extension of our original research and consulting work.

The goal of the project is to develop a flexible framework that will aid everyone in the additive manufacturing industry including innovators, developers, product designers, print operators, and end-users to create and select safe AM materials for their needs. The framework is to be used as an assessment tool and aims to adapt to the AM industry as it continues to evolve in order to highlight key decision making issues. In order to generate a comprehensive picture of materials in AM, diverse metrics such as LCA, risk assessment and chemical hazard assessment are important factors that the roundtable is targeting to include during the development of the framework.

Bringing together the diverse participants in one roundtable will help shape the development of the flexible framework model. Participants will share their expertise and insights and learn from other AM professionals. This knowledge base will help the participants further the development of more sustainable products.

_______________________________________________________________Northwest Green Chemistry is a non-profit organization that aims to enhances human and environmental health by fostering innovation and economic opportunities through sustainable and green chemistry and engineering solutions (Northwest Green Chemistry).

A Pioneering Partnership with Costco

We are pleased to announce that the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) and Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) have agreed to a long-term collaborative relationship to assess the current and future chemical management program at Costco. BCGC will be studying and evaluating Costco’s current chemical assessment program and wider chemical policy planning. We will assist Costco in developing a strategic plan for restricting and assessing chemicals of concern within their global supply chain and guiding company procurement now and in the future. We are excited to help the further adoption of green chemistry in the retail sector!

Executive Director Tom McKeag will oversee the overall project planning for the Berkeley research team led by BCGC Associate Director Dr. Ann Blake and Dr. Sally Edwards of  the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachuesetts, Lowell. Dr. Tala Daya, formerly of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at UC Berkeley will be assisting in the research and analysis as part of her new postdoc appointment at BCGC. The Berkeley team will work with a high-power, cross-company team at Costco.

This partnership will serve for a regular assessment, refinement and implementation of chemical policy at Costco. The intent of BCGC is to first perform a comprehensive review of relevant factors affecting chemicals management at Costco for three product areas: textiles, furniture, and personal care and household products. BCGC will then review and compare Costco’s current chemical restrictions in relation to a larger list of chemicals of concern as well as to sector restricted substances lists (RSL) and best practices in assessing safer alternatives for each of the three identified product categories. Actionable recommendations for the short, mid and longer term will be provided.

Costco Wholesale has a commitment to provide great products and value to its over 85 million international members and helping them achieve their chemicals management program goals will have a big impact for a safer retail sector.


Mushrooms and Lotus Leaves: Greener Solutions course, fall, 2017


This fall interdisciplinary graduate student teams in our Greener Solutions course are partnering with WLGore, the manufacturer and maker of Goretex, and MycoWorks, a San Francisco startup that makes a mycelium based leather substitute. For Gore a team will look at alternatives to perfluorinated compounds (PFC’s) to impart durable water repellency (DWR) to their technical clothing line. Many of their ideas will come from nature, such as the hydrophobic and self-cleaning characteristics of the lotus leaf. For MycoWorks, a team will look to imparting strength, durability and flexibility to the company’s material without using the harsh chemicals typically associated with the leather apparel industry.


Article about Greener Solutions course at

Board member and founder/ co-instructor of the Greener Solutions course, Dr. Meg Schwarzman, has recently published a good summary of the class in the Right Chemistry section of Insights at You can view the article here:

BCGC and Steelcase in GC3 Webinar about collaboration, April 13, 0900 PDT

Steelcase, the world’s largest furniture maker, and a partner in BCGC’s Fall 2016, Greener Solutions course, will join BCGC in a webinar hosted by the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) on April 13 at 0900 PDT. The webinar will highlight Steelcase’s challenge to UC Berkeley’s graduate student team: brainstorm the concept of “modular polymer chemistry” with a focus on safer colorants that could be used in the company’s Node chair line.

The webinar will be just in time for GC3’s Innovator’s Roundtable in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 25-27, and will feature Jon Smieja, Sustainable Design and Development Leader at Steelcase, and Mark Shapero, chemistry PhD candidate and Greener Solutions team member.

You can register for the webinar here:

You can view the webinar here: