Three Cheers for an Eco Friendly Graduation

Image via Flickr.com

Do you remember the hot sun beating down on the back of that hideous synthetic bag of material they called a gown and that cardboard square with a tassel that would have made a stripper blush? I would venture to guess that anyone who has suffered through the ritual of graduation  can almost recall that sticky feeling that the traditional costume gave to your freshly matriculated self. There are of course those awesome renegades who choose to strut their stuff across the elementary, middle/high school or even college stage sans cap and gown, as a couple of free spirits I have seen. Wearing their favorite dress, or in some cases going au naturel. However this graduation season  there’s an entirely new option for the academic Eco Fashionista who simply cannot wait to cross the collegian finish line. Now you can graduate green!

In order for you to get the full effect of this post, I’ve supplied the music for Pomp and Circumstance (just in case you haven’t heard it yet this month). Go ahead, open it in another browser, now you’re ready to begin.

So as we mentioned, graduation evokes a time of contrasts. There’s the newness of potential, the sadness of an ending, and there’s that amazing dress that you got at a vintage shop that you’ve always wanted to sport, or that 3 piece suit your mother had custom-made for you for this very day. Whatever you’re wearing underneath your cap and gown is all your own unique and personal. However everyone sees is that hideous bag of flame-ability.

Launched in the spring of 2009, the GreenWeaver line by Oak Hall Cap and Gown turned the tables on the potential for what graduation could look like, while helping to tackle an equally ugly on campus problem.  A horrible by-product of the bring-water-with-you-everywhere trend is the massive waste of plastic bottles, which textile specialists have been creative enough to transform into fiber. This allows the potential for re-use of those countless bottles campuses usher out to students, faculty, staff, and even prospective applications as they make sure they stay hydrated whilst on their property.

Image via Oakhalli.com

Oak Hill was savvy enough to incorporate this new fiber into, you guessed it, an alternative, Eco Friendly graduation gown. Other cap and gown companies like University Cap and Gown are enabling a policy of returning  used gowns to be processed and recycled for future graduates (what did they do before with all of the gowns we once just had to bring back to the bookstore??).

In addition, their press release Oak Hill states that ” For every gown purchased, Oak Hall will make a contribution to a campus environmental group as directed by each university’s administration.” So we’re now talking not only Eco Fashion but ALSO a Cause-sumer. Of course, there are many hurdles to cross before a bona-fide sustainable Graduation happens, I will have to turn to the LEED people for more tips on what that would look like, but this is a pretty amazing start if you ask us!

Let us know if you’re a student participating in a Eco Friendly graduation, and what that has been like. Also, HVC wants to take a moment to congratulate all of those graduates in the Class of 2010 across the world for their accomplishments! Please feel free to use the comment box below to congratulate the graduates you’re proud of!

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