One-Day Campus Clothing Drive to Create Awareness About Apparel Sustainability

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The U of A American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Fashion Club is conducting a one-day on-campus clothing donation drive for Beautiful Lives Boutique, a local nonprofit thrift shop supporting women and children in the community and around the world.

The AATCC Fashion Club includes apparel merchandising and product development majors from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Science's School of Human Environmental Sciences.

The clothing drive is also to raise awareness about sustainability in the apparel industry.

A pop-up shop will receive items from 6-7 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 10, at the club meeting in the Human Environmental Sciences Building (HOEC) at 987 W. Maple St., in Room 102. In addition to helping families, the drive also emphasizes to students and others that donating clothes helps the environment.

"If people buy used clothing instead of new, fewer new clothes need to be made, thus reducing landfill waste," said apparel merchandising and product development instructor Lance Cheramie, coordinator of the event. "This saves the resources used to create new textiles. Recycling clothing helps the environment in a similar way as recycling bottles, cans and paper."

Cheramie, AATCC club adviser, 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.

Beautiful Lives Boutique's mission is to create a community that cares for women locally and globally. The shop provides opportunities for women to find affordable, fashionable clothing. BLB gives proceeds to other organizations committed to helping women and children in the community and world, including non-profits such as Go Near, Ladies of Grace, IJM and Younglife.

"Conducting donation drives for clothing and accessories really helps us move hundreds of quality items to our floor each day to sell at thrift store prices," said BLB's Melody Taylor. "We are able to give funds to five nonprofits that benefit vulnerable women and children. It is also very significant to have enough merchandise donated that we can give free clothing assistance to women in need from our store."

The AATCC Fashion Club is open to all apparel merchandising and product development majors, and anyone on campus interested in fashion. The club explores the world of fashion through industry leaders and special events. Speakers at Wednesday's clothing drive and meeting include Taylor from BLB and someone with Academy Sports.

As part of Cheramie's Net Impact 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 a Fashion Industry PechaKucha at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in conjunction with the Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum education series and NWA Fashion Week.

The second was Tuesday's collaboration with Sam M. Walton College's supply chain management program on the screening of "RiverBlue," which explores the environmental impact of chemicals and toxic waste used in the textile manufacturing industry.

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.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences


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