Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in International Business

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Management

Advisor

Sprandel, Heather

Abstract

In 2012, the average person living in the United States throws away 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year. This textile waste goes into landfills where it makes up 10% of all the waste there (http://www.sustainuclothing.com/national-collegiate-clothing-drive-collects-16-tons-of-clothing/). A lack of capacity and water contamination are two problems that are forcing landfills to close, and reducing the waste that goes to these landfills is a very important option to consider. The Career Closet Upcycling Program is one solution to the waste problem. Through this program, the Walton College Career Center partners with the Apparel Studies Department to offer the Career Closet Upcycling Program in order to change articles of clothing that are out of style and without value into products that are both desirable and marketable. The most important element of the Career Closet Upcycling Program, however, is to give University of Arkansas students an experiential and educational business opportunity. The market that the program will service is made up of Leadership Walton Students and Apparel Studies students. The primary goal of this program is to create an educational experience and a lesson in sustainability for these students. No money will change hands in the sale of these products to these students. Instead, a merit-based system will be in place to reward students for their work with the program and for other professional development opportunities of which they have taken advantage. By way of Blackboard, students will be able to submit activities for revision and then receive a number of Career Closet Credits toward the purchase of an upcycled product of their choice. Clothing that cannot be donated will be transported to the Apparel Studies department to be upcycled. Leadership Walton students will be responsible for activities such as sorting and collecting these materials in the Career Closet. The products will then be manufactured by Apparel Studies students. This production process will be done in the form of a class project led by instructor and local business owner Ashley Donell. This program presently incurs no cost at all. However, the vision for the Career Closet Upcycling Program will be a competitive one. In the future, the organization of a nationally recognized competition will cost an estimated $26,845. However, we will offset some of this cost through registration fees.

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