“The Walmart Foundation is making a major contribution to manufacturing in the US through its continuing financial and informational support to textile and apparel technologies,” said Chris Cole, professor emerita of materials science and engineering at Clemson. “We are so grateful to the Walmart Foundation and US Manufacturing Innovation Fund for investing in our research programme — an area not funded by other sources and one that has many important scientific, economic and environmental implications.”
Clemson University is one of the six universities that will collectively receive nearly $3 million in grants from the fund this year to support research proposals that strive to create new manufacturing technologies and reduce the cost of producing goods in the US with the ultimate goal of creating jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing base. The fund was formed in 2014 to provide a total of $10 million in grants to focus specifically on advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the US.
As part of this round of grants from the fund, the Walmart Foundation granted $422,549 to Clemson University for their proposal to create a more sustainable water and oil repellant fabric process. The process will significantly reduce costs while using no additional finishing chemistry, significantly reducing the amount of fluorochemistry required.
“Advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the US is the number one goal of the Innovation Fund,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “As these projects come to fruition over the next few years, we hope the research not only enables cost-effective solutions for manufacturers, but also improves the sustainability of the US textile industry.”
“This type of research and development, supported by the Walmart Foundation and the US Conference of Mayors, will advance textile manufacturing in the US at the same time that it brings important changes for the operations and technologies of local manufacturers and restores our region’s historical role as a major player in the textile industry nationally and globally,” said Spartanburg Mayor Junie White. (RR)
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