New professor works for sustainability and circularity in textile value chains
What are your research interests?
My research broadly takes a management engineering approach towards understanding industrial sustainability and resilience challenges arising in textile value chains, and how these impacts environment and society. I address industrial value chain sustainability from the perspectives of attaining resource effectiveness and visibility, which largely shapes my three research domains: Reverse and circular value chains, Small-series manufacturing in demand-driven value chains, and Traceable value chains.
Being applied in nature, my research primarily combined principles from operations & supply chain management, and business models, with intrinsic knowledge of textile and apparel engineering in order to design specific problem-solving approaches that can optimize and redesign textile value chains for improving sustainable value.
What does your new role mean? In what ways have your work assignments changed?
Frankly speaking, not much has changed in terms of work assignments for me since I took my new role. Of course, now as a professor the intensity at which I can work towards consolidating the ongoing research and education within the scope of textile value chain management (TVCM), research and industry connectivity, and global outreach is even more.
What parts of your research has had the most impact on your field (or society)?
In general, my research on circular textiles economy that includes publications on reverse logistics, circular business models etc. holds prominence towards improving resource effectiveness in industrial value chains, and is relevant for developing solutions towards a climate-positive economy. Additionally, I must say that my doctoral research on organisational and supply chain resilience has re-captured attention in the recent times amidst COVID-19 that has triggered global supply disruptions, increasing energy prices, and increasing uncertainties. One of my articles, “Antecedents of organizational resilience in economic crises—an empirical study of Swedish textile and clothing SMEs” is particularly getting highly cited (crossed 300 citations in google scholar). Finally, the project I recently concluded for World Bank Group’s International Financial Corporation on circular and sustainable innovation in PPE manufacturing is of prime importance in agendas to fight against climate change and plastic pandemic in the wake of the COVID-19.
What are you looking forward to right now?
A few project decisions are pending, of which one is aimed at creating an innovative Euro-Asia research network in the area of traceability for the sustainable textile supply chain. In fact we have new project proposals planned along all the three research domains we work in my research group. Another key focus is on increasing collaboration with other research groups at the University, particularly from textile technology. I am also looking forward to my new role within the “team of specialists” for United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)’s project “Environmental, Social and Governance Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Circular Economy”.
What do you like to do on your spare time?
Play with my toddler, work a bit more, and if still there is time left, then watch something on Netflix and do “googling”!
Emilia Vermelin/Eva Medin