The Intersection Between Business and Sustainability

Julia Daviy, CleanTech Entrepreneur, Inventor, Designer, and founder of IMAGENERIA, joins Green.Org to share how her background in business, design, sustainability, and 3D Printing led to the launch of a community-based platform for digital delivery of real consumer products, the 1st platform for 3D-printable NFTs.

Julia, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background: 

Together with my partners and team, I’m setting out to build IMAGENERIA: a California-based startup implementing digital delivery and digital supply chain for real consumer products. Thanks to quality designs for modern digital fashion and jewelry, furniture, art, and other lifestyle-based products—along with distributed, advanced manufacturing and other tech innovations—we eliminate more than 92% carbon emissions, 98% waste, and 99% water usage tied to the traditional consumer product lifecycle. However, deep sustainability is just one part of our solution. We also enable designers and brands to switch to much shorter and more transparent supply and delivery chains.

Julia Daviy is an innovator, inventor, designer, and cleantech entrepreneur

When did your cleantech journey begin?

More than 15 years ago! I also have more than seven years of experience in 3D printing. As part of this work, I steered a new direction for sustainable 3D-printed fashion and consumer products in a 100% digital manner: using solar energy for digital design and recyclable/bio-based materials for 3D printing.

My educational background lies in engineering, environmental science, and the international economy. My passion—innovations for sustainability—persists at the intersection of these fields.

Organizations I’ve managed and co-founded have played a significant role in renewable energy and other cleantech sectors within emerging European national markets. Specifically, I co-founded the Institute of Green Economics (NGO, Kyiv), sat on the CIS Committee board of the World Wind Energy Association, and served as the vice chairman of the public council for the State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine.

I also co-founded the Innovative Business (IB) Centre, leading consulting projects for clients hailing from international organizations, governmental bodies of varied European countries, and multinational corporations. The Centre’s engineering branch in fact constructed one of the first renewable energy plants in Eastern Europe. However, the IB Centre is perhaps best known as a producer of top-notch trade shows and business conferences spanning all primary cleantech disciplines: including solar, wind, bioenergy, energy efficiency, energy storage, green building, water tech, waste tech, organic products, and advanced manufacturing. Project history includes endeavors from Brussels to Almaty over a timespan of more than 15 years. At least 70% of large and medium-scale renewable energy companies within these markets have served as our clients, providing a sense of our expansive reach.

What is a fun fact about you?

Eight years ago, I realized that while all of my business pursuits revolved around sustainability, I had never tried to live sustainably on a personal level. With no clear route to do so, the idea at first sounded strange; however, I committed myself and my family to live an eco-friendly lifestyle for at least one year—establishing eco-based challenges to pass every month, making notes, and adding monthly reports to my blog. That year was so eye-opening, as I discovered pain points for people like us who wish to live sustainably and minimize our harm to the planet. From the absence of sustainable clothing, accessories, jewelry, and housewares to broader categories offering eco-friendly, ethical, and cruelty-free consumer experiences in almost any part of life, the market was void.

As part of this experiment, I committed myself to only wearing sustainable clothes. Quickly realizing the dearth of footwear meeting sustainability requirements when faced with a brutally harsh winter in an already cold climate, I found a designer to manually sew my boots using hand-woven hemp textile. They indeed looked very fancy and exceeded my expectations. Perhaps one day I’ll write a book about this one-year challenge.

Coming out of this experiment, I sought to assess the feasibility of creating clothes and other consumer products with zero harm towards people, animals, and the planet. In launching a brand of activewear made of organic fabrics, I found that materials are merely just one part of the solution.

Rather, supply chain challenges are the primary pain point. Seeking a solution to shorten the supply chain, I discovered additive manufacturing for heavy industry—believing that if tiny 3D-printed parts made for Boeing were able to make a difference in aircraft carbon emissions, imagine the difference this technology could make for fashion and consumer products in general. All of this led to IMAGENERIA’s shining moment as a new solution grounded in the digital delivery of consumer products.

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today? 

Unfortunately, we are quickly losing our beautiful green and blue planet as we know it. Specifically, I find biodiversity loss—including the extinction of most animals, plants, and other species—the most threatening part of this dire situation. As millions of different species come together to form the magic of life on our planet (in many cases multiplying based on each one’s unique existence), the extinction of one species leads to the death of others. This results in a cumulative effect triggering the demise of components within the natural ecosystem.

Climate change summons faster paces of extinction, which may concurrently speed up the rate of climate change in return. Imagine plankton and whales that influence the oceans’ absorption of CO2, or eventually, life on a dead planet: would we still be able to call this a happy place? Today, we overreach the capacities of Earth for self-restoration to a significant degree. This means that to create a massive positive change in sustainability, we must go far beyond the achievement of a net-zero negative impact to exert a positive impact on the natural environment. To achieve this goal, we must implement modern, all-embracing strategies to create, manufacture, deliver, and consume goods in a sustainable manner.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

We live in an era defined by technology that develops and grows in a lightning-quick, unpredictable manner within many fields. In ten years, ordering goods straight from the metaverse or multiverse might become the norm: perhaps with no need and minimal opportunity for overseas delivery as manufacturers will produce products locally, on-demand, and very quickly. Maybe they will 3D-print goods in close-to-final quality and processes such as mass production will disappear. In this manner, we are primed to enjoy a highly personalized customer experience wherein we take a very active part in creating anything we need.

What can the average person do to make a difference? 

Start by revising your lifestyle and making small changes that replace your current habits with alternatives better-suited for the planet. In great products, sustainability is a free bonus leading to an improved experience. Let’s say your jewelry is not only made of precious recycled metal but also boasts a more outstanding design that is personalized or even co-designed by you, unlike with traditional jewelry. Perhaps during some stage of enjoying this design, you seek a new one and use IMAGENERIA to transform your jewelry into a new digital style—represented in the IMAGENERIA catalog and even co-designed by you. Your new furniture will summon a digital design that is digitally adjusted to your home’s interior and 3D-printed from recycled material in your city or state: rather than transported from overseas. In yet another example, your stylish electric bike might serve as a more convenient and faster solution for delivering goods within a big city as compared to a gas-guzzling car.

Julia, thank you for sharing your experience and passion for Business and Sustainability.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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