Photo credit: Oak Hall Cap & Gown
Cue "Pomp and Circumstance": Starting in December, freshly minted graduates could be striding across the stage in caps and gowns made from recycled plastic bottles. GreenWeaver, a new line of academic apparel by Oak Hall Cap & Gown, is made of fabric spun from 100 percent post-consumer plastic pellets. For every gown that is made, 23 bottles are rescued from permanent detention in the landfill.
"College students and campuses are at the forefront of environmental conscience and green habits," says Joseph D'Angelo, executive vice president of Oak Hall. "When we started seeing such campus trends as biodegradable utensils, we felt developing an environmentally friendly gown was the right thing to do for students, colleges and universities and our planet."Oak Hall toyed with a blend of bamboo and polyester at first, but when that didn't work out, the company turned to recycled PET fabric, an unconventional but increasingly popular textile that has already made its rounds on the fashion circuit.
Made in Virginia, the GreenWeaver cap and gowns are said to be virtually indistinguishable in color, feel, or fit from traditional polyester. Oak Hall will begin marketing the line this summer, with new grad outfits available for December's diploma receivers.
If 100,000 students wore GreenWeaver gowns at their graduation, roughly 2.3 million plastic bottles would be kept out of the waste stream, says Oak Hall.
More on eco-friendly graduations
College Grads Go Green On Graduation Day!
College of the Atlantic: First Carbon-Neutral US College