Vestechpro opens the doors of his laboratory, and introduces his technical team, to familiarize you with the world of applied research in business and innovation in the clothing industry in Quebec.
For this second article, we met Marianne-Coquelicot Mercier, Head of Research and Development.
The birth of her interest in the circular economy
After a DEC in fashion design from Lasalle College, Marianne began her career in the fashion industry, placing herself at the forefront of over-consumption issues in this industry. It is also one of his jobs in a company in the Chabanel district that will impact the rest of her career. She is therefore moving towards a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design at the Université de Montréal, with the aim of finding solutions to what she had previously observed. This reorientation will allow her to work on new subjects in addition to introducing her to a new world while learning more about the environmental issues involved in product development.
Marianne, who recently graduated from Université de Montréal with a Master's degree in "Design and Complexity", continues to work on this theme in a university research environment. The subject of her master's degree is "How to make the textile industry circular ? ". She worked in collaboration with a sorting center to answer this question by schematizing, in particular, the circular economy of the Quebec textile industry in order to better understand how it works. This is how Marianne positions herself, because of her personal values and her career, as a textile expert specialized in circular economy *.
It is at the end of her master's degree that Marianne begins to get involved in the MUTREC group.
Her role at Vestechpro
Marianne holds two distinct roles within the organization. First, that of product designer for Vestechpro customers, in collaboration with the technical team. In concrete terms, its mandate is to carry out research, define the problematic of the project through its context and its users, to imagine the possible solutions through numerous tests to finally define viable concepts.
Secondly, because of her expertise in circular economy, Marianne acts as a consultant for Vestechpro's client companies. It internally develops projects for the development of expertise, materials and processes. Finally, Marianne speaks on many panels and conferences to inform students and businesses about these concepts.
For two years now, Marianne has been in charge of the textile course given to the undergraduate students in industrial design at the Université de Montréal, where she completed her master's degree. His position as lecturer allows him to popularize the concepts of research applied to students.
From basic research to applied research in business
Her previous academic experiences have allowed her to master the theoretical aspects of research, and her experience within Vestechpro now allows her to support companies by applying research. Having the feeling of being able to make a real difference is the main advantage of this job according to her.
Advice for the succession: to follow its values!
Having started her career in fashion, going through industrial design to finally work in clothing, Marianne is surprised by her unusual career. "I'm looking for expertise outside the fashion world to get back," Marianne said to herself. She reminds us that we must not be afraid to change paths in order to follow our own values. It's possible to reach your goal by going off the beaten path: just follow what seems most important to us.
Marianne's favorite work tools: her reference books!
No matter what project Marianne is working on, it is essential for her to consult her books to guide her reflections. Her two reference books are "Textiles, Sara J. Kadolph" and "Functional clothing design, Susan M. Watkings". These works are used especially in terms of design and finding solutions.
Reminder: how to define circular economy?
Set of strategies to optimize the resources already in circulation (see the complete definition on the EDDEC website) for example: industrial symbiosis (grouped under the Quebec synergies banner), new business models such as the economy functionality and sharing, and revisited models of repair and retouching in addition to reuse, redesign and recycling (defibration, dissolution, depolymerization, energy recovery).
For more information on Québec's current situation in the textile industry, we invite you to consult this file produced by RAD, a journalism laboratory of Radio-Canada, on which Marianne participated: https: //www.rad. ca / folder / recycling-textile.
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