Product Development Internship

Type: Intern
Region: South West

Ponda is a biomaterials company developing novel textiles from truly regenerative fibres. We connect the regeneration of some of our most precious ecosystems to the production of responsible materials for the textile industry. Ponda partners with farmers and conservation groups to regenerate wetlands by cultivating Typha Latifolia, a native, shallow-water, rhizomatous perennial plant.

Thriving in freshwater or slightly brackish marshes, Typha proves to be an ideal, low-maintenance crop for wetland restoration. Farming under these conditions is defined as paludiculture. Ponda has patented a fibre extraction method to harness the seed head fibre, transforming it into a valuable insulation material for the textile industry.

Ponda’s biomaterials will create a net-reduction in carbon production, provide space for biodiversity to be protected and enhanced, mitigate flood risk through natural flood management, amongst other benefits.

Our first product, BioPuff® is a next-generation insulation, which reduces reliance on feather and synthetic fillers, and is created by extracting fibres from plants that are grown on regenerated wetlands. BioPuff® is puffy, warm, and naturally water repellent – it’s also cruelty-free and traceable all the way from plant to puffer.

Position overview

Ponda is seeking a Product Development Intern who can help integrate our pioneering biomaterials into garments. This internship provides hands-on experience in fabric cutting, sample construction, product testing, and assisting with product research and documentation. You will work closely with our team to develop technical specifications, ensuring product quality and innovation.

In addition, you will gain insight into our regenerative agricultural supply chain and address design challenges associated with next-generation materials. You will also contribute to industry projects, many of which involve collaborations with established and renowned fashion brands.

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Product team to understand project goals and requirements.
  • Prototyping, sample and pattern making (patterns, pillow swatches, testing, garments construction and sewing, etc.) for clients, R&D, manufacturers and exhibitions.
  • Create tech-packs for garment samples production.
  • Build rapid prototypes for performance testing (launderability, material integration, etc.).
  • Do research and sourcing suitable fabric/materials options for samples
  • On occasion, work with performance and quality testing facilities, third party manufacturers and brand clients.
  • Research and understand how other materials are constructed and how they perform.
  • Work closely with team members to address technical challenges and refine solutions.
  • Collect and analyse data to identify areas for improvement.
  • Present progress updates and findings to the team.
  • Assist with the Product department archive.

Requirements

  • You share our passion for wanting to shift the textile industry towards planet-positivity.
  • You have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Fashion, Tailoring, textiles, design or a related creative field.
  • You have experience constructing garments and using sewing machines.
  • You are a high-quality maker.
  • You have proficiency in Google Sheets.
  • You can demonstrate your product knowledge (preferably including specific projects related to fashion and sustainability).
  • You can demonstrate and translate your making into tech packs/ build instructions.
  • You are driven, able to work efficiently by yourself and in teams.
  • You are creative and adaptable. You like to show initiative and propose ideas.
  • You have strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • You like working on different projects simultaneously.
  • You have great interpersonal and communication skills for presenting technical data.
  • Comfortable working with loose fill material and natural fibres.

Benefits

  • Be part of an innovative endeavour towards planet-positive textiles.
  • Autonomy and decision making in leading sample making/manufacturing and development.
  • Scale with a rapidly growing organisation, working with experienced and motivated individuals.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts and peers.
  • Fun! We work hard, but we make sure we enjoy the process.

Ponda aims to be an equal opportunities employer. We invest in people regardless of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race. We assure equality and respect. We do not accept any form of harassment, bias or discrimination towards applicants and employees.

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