Dennison: And that led you to set up three companies and cooperatives, with increasingly broader goals.
Hemstreet: That’s correct. I first built a cut and sew plant called Opportunity Threads, then a network of small producers – the Carolina Textile District. Later, in 2015, we set up Industrial Commons with the mission of building a diverse working class based on locally rooted wealth – a new ecosystem for manufacturing that can sustain a southern Appalachian economy. With Industrial Commons, we’re doing two things. One, we’re incubating and building businesses, particularly in our heritage industries of furniture and textiles and with a focus on circularity. And two, we’re working alongside students and frontline workers to think about what the future of work can look like and how imagination and creativity and equity can come to play on the front lines of manufacturing work.