The Register Citizen: Graduates at many area
colleges will be wearing "green” caps and gowns at commencement
exercises this year, and it has nothing to do with their school colors.
It’s all part of a nationwide trend to graduate in attire made of
recycled products, and at Southern Connecticut State University May 28,
undergraduates will wear caps and gowns made from recycled plastic
bottles. The new products are an alternative to the petroleum-based
polyester gowns millions of graduates have bought each year.
Sounds like it could be stiff and uncomfortable, but Heather Stearns,
recycling coordinator for Southern Connecticut State University, said
the material is actually softer and more breathable than the old gear.
"The beauty of it is, the students coming to the university today
come through elementary school, junior high and high school with a sense
of sustainability,” Stearns said. "They’re coming with the expectation
that we take them to the next level.”
The gowns, which are manufactured by Oak Hall Cap & Gown and
known as the GreenWeaver line, are made in Virginia. Oak Hall estimates
that it takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown. In coming up
with the final product, officials from Oak Hall settled on material made
from recycled plastic after samples made from sustainable bamboo failed
to impress customer service reps who wore them for a day