Academic journal article Human Ecology

Eco Chic: Green Looks Good on Fashion Design Grad Student

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Eco Chic: Green Looks Good on Fashion Design Grad Student

Article excerpt

Autumn Newell, MA '15, is giving sustainability a new look. Thanks to her efforts, the Human Ecology Building's design studios contain collection bins--not only for cans, plastic, or paper but for scrapped textiles. Last semester, Newell's initiative amassed 130 pounds of fabric for reuse and recycling, landing her a nomination for the Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards and a reputation as the Fiber Science & Apparel Design recycling guru.

"It is important to look at all of the waste we produce in our society--for me, textile waste is the direct result of the industry that I'm interested in and involved with," Newell says.

Newell started the bins as an offshoot of her thesis examining ways to eliminate clothing waste. "Eighty-five percent of textiles go into landfills and only 15 percent is donated or reused and recycled," Newell says. "I decided to unpack that statistic and investigate where that 15 percent is going, and how much more could be diverted from landfills."

Recently, Newell joined the planning team of the statewide "Clothes the Loop" campaign, the first effort of its kind to encourage municipalities to get involved with clothing collection efforts.

"Through my involvement with the campaign, I can see that textiles are like a low-hanging fruit in the waste diversion world," she says. …

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