Earlier this week, Lafayette students had a chance to combine their passion for fashion with their passion for sustainability.
Lafayette students were given the opportunity to become involved in one of H&M’s sustainability efforts this past Tuesday. Students strutted their stuff in the Marlo Room for Lafayette’s first “Close the Loop Fashion Show.”
Many of us shop at the popular clothing store, H&M.
With stores and suppliers in over 60 countries all over the world, H&M is, according to it’s official website, “committed to providing its customers with fashion and quality at the best price.” H&M bills itself as one of the first businesses in the fashion industry to work towards bringing long-term improvement to shoppers and their environment.
H&M partners with a non-profit company called Do Something, one of the world’s largest social change organizations for young people. Do Something is currently hosting a Close the Loop College Cup. Lafayette College is competing against 49 other colleges to recycle the most garments.
In addition to helping to save the planet, the school that presents the most garments to H&M to be recycled will win a $2,000 campus party. Other prizes will be awarded to the second and third place schools.
Hosted by Lafayette’s new special interest house, BEACON, and the International Students Association, “Close the Loop Fashion Show” featured fashion through the decades. Members of Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Kappa Psi walked the runway. Musical performances by Johnny Gossick, Grant Kempski, Tyler Schwartz, and Ryan Dupuis added to the vibrant mood. The event welcomed almost 100 people.
The BEACON floor is based on community outreach and engagement. BEACON is an acronym for Be A Community Outreach Nation. The house stands for a more integrated Lafayette community, and a stronger relationship between the Lafayette and the Easton community.
BEACON member and Do Something College Captain Sara Hayet ‘18 said, “We want to raise awareness regarding important community issues and needs while creating new and creative opportunities for community service. The founding students were inspired to start BEACON after their experiences last year in the previous Community Engagement residence hall, Conway.”
Hayet was chosen by Do Something to be a College Captain. Through this role, she spearheaded the clothing drive at Lafayette.
“It’s been awesome to run this program with the help of my floormates,” Hayet said.
The fashion show’s name was inspired by the initiative of “closed loop” recycling,” which is when worn goods are turned into new products. The goal of the fashion show was to stop waste and “close the loop” in the clothing industry.
Though the entire number of collected clothing items has not been counted yet, Hayet estimated they collected about 2,500 garments. Before the event had even begun, 1,600 donations were made.
“Every year, 11.5 million tons of clothing and textile waste ends up in landfills. This is horrible because a lot of fabrics, such as rayon or polyester, are non-biodegradable and contain poisonous dyes/bleaches that leak into the water supply,” Hayet said. “Recycling clothing also saves energy and resources.”
Now that the fashion show has concluded, the donations will be sent to H&M where they will be sorted depending on their condition. Donations in great condition will be sent to open-air markets in Africa.
Otherwise, donations will be recycled into other products such as clothing, and insulation. Any and all profits made from the recycled clothes will be donated to sustainability research and service projects.