Bumpers, Walton Colleges Showing 'RiverBlue' to Focus on Sustainability in Apparel Industry

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas apparel merchandising and product development program is partnering with the supply chain management program to draw attention to sustainability by screening the film RiverBlue on Tuesday, April 9.

The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception and the screening begins at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development. RiverBlue is informative for anyone interested in apparel supply chains, business or sustainability. It's open and free for everyone.

The film explores the environmental impact of chemicals and toxic waste used in the textile manufacturing industry and serves as a call to action for larger high-fashion companies to make a difference.

Roger Williams, producer and director of the documentary, will Skype in to the event to introduce the film and again when it's over to participate in a Q&A with students. After the Q&A, Lance Cheramie, an apparel instructor in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Science's School of Human Environmental Sciences, will coordinate a student demonstration on how those students are addressing sustainability by recycling and repurposing denim.

Cheramie and David Hyatt, research associate professor in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and coordinator of the U of A sustainability academic programs, are coordinating the event along with the student RSO Net Impact. Hyatt, whose primary research and practical interests concern sustainability in global supply chains, serves as faculty advisor for the RSO, part of an global organization networking students and companies around sustainability initiatives and jobs.

"The RiverBlue film screening with Walton College brings a new venture for future collaboration that focuses on apparel, sustainability and business," said Cheramie. "The film will explore the textile industry and the impact that occurs as a result of chemical and toxic waste. It also explores the use of new technologies that all students and smart businesspeople should be aware of."

Cheramie was recently appointed to a Net Impact 25-person world-wide committee to study the social, economic and environmental impacts of the fashion industry around the world. The group is part of Net Impact's Wear it Wise program, which has the goal of inspiring young people to reflect on the full life-cycle of their apparel choices in order to create lasting consumer behavior change.

As part of his appointment, he is scheduling events in Northwest Arkansas to raise awareness. All are apparel-related, and intended to draw attention to sustainability in the apparel and textile industries. The first was the Fashion Industry PechaKucha on April 3 at Crystal Bridges Museum. It was in conjunction with the Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum education series and NWA Fashion Week.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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