The pop-up taught dozens of students from Fashion Business Management and many other majors how to plan and execute a sustainable fashion shop, an experiential learning practicum in sustainability and entrepreneurship. With guidance from faculty, students collaborated across departments to build the pop-up from discarded materials, design the logo/branding for the event in colors compatible with water-based inks and other eco-friendly chemicals, collect used garments for the clothing swap, collect and process natural dyes to tie-dye used shirts for same, and display garments from this and other Sustainability Awareness Week events in augmented reality. Most of the activities promoted alternatives to traditional materials and processes with a lower environmental cost. The knowledge and skills will help prepare them for professional careers in a global society, increasingly propelled by sustainable economic development. Students will have a competitive edge for leadership positions and might undertake their own sustainable business endeavors.
The Loop for Good aligned with the Sustainability Council’s goals of supporting projects that help protect the environment, preserve resources, and enhance an understanding of sustainability on campus and beyond. The immersive technology booth featured various augmented reality games and interactions to further illustrate sustainable practices in the industry. Other technology on display included predictive analytics on pop-up customers’ used clothing usage, 3D student technical designs that won awards at the Gerber Ideation 2019 Conference, and 3D virtual exhibition design and construction. Additionally, the pop-up featured upcycled garments, old and/or unwanted clothes that were transformed into pieces of higher quality and value.
Approximately 1,000 visitors participated over the two-day pop-up, with nearly 700 donating 2,900 articles of clothing for the swap. Attendees not taking part in the swap were able to learn about recycling, sustainability, and circularity in the fashion industry, view AR displays, and hear from local designers and businesses that either recycle or upcycle. The faculty who organized the event are looking to conduct a follow-up event next year.