I married into a large family. I’m talking Irish-Catholic large. So there’s always an event happening: a wedding, a new baby, Confirmation, baptism and, during this time of year, graduations. And with graduation comes the ever-present cap and gown. Call me a geek, but I still have both of mine from high school and college.
While planning graduation parties may be more at top of mind for students, schools are definitely thinking about making those caps and gowns from more sustainable materials. We’re seeing some big steps in the last couple of years with classic graduation attire being made of recycled plastic bottles.
One academic apparel manufacturer says about 23 plastic bottles go into each gown – a far cry from the heavy polyester monsters we’re all used to and that I still have packed away in a box for my children to eventually take out and laugh about. I’m also hearing these recycled gowns are a little lighter and breathe a little better than the standard issue. Plus, some manufacturers are taking them back to be made into new gowns again; schools are setting up recycling bins right at graduation sites. Of course, for nostalgic fools like me, this is a new way of thinking that I’m sure the younger generation is much more open to.
If you know of any schools in California that will be using recycled plastic gowns this year, let us know – we’d love to see them in action—and perhaps we can replace my sad old photo with something new!