Tech Bookstore on Main Street has introduced the Open Arms apparel line in a significant push for social consciousness.
Following the sustainability trend around campus, the latest line of scarves and skirts are created from “upcycled” T-shirts. Open Arms, an apparel company based in Austin, Tex., fully recycles a variety of materials to make the school-spirited clothes.
The company is not alone in their efforts, however. The bookstore’s parent company, Neebo, recently donated 40,000 university shirts from around the country to be broken down and fashioned into new scarves and skirts. The efforts come
full circle, as the clothes eventually make it back to the store’s shelves.
In addition to supporting sustainable clothing, Open Arms employs refugee women in war zones overseas. Buying their products helps fund the women’s wage and education expenses.
“In this way, everyone wins,” said Karey Koehn, a Neebo spokeswoman. “Fans get a great product, the families of the refugee workers are supported and unwanted T-shirts are saved from the landfill.”
This year is the school’s first introduction of the Open Arms line. Their international recognition for serving in areas like Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sudan, Iraq and Nepal, gained the attention of Neebo.
“We felt like Tech fans would identify with the strong Open Arms message,” Koehn said.
The message is not lost on students.
“It’s definitely important to support the less fortunate in distant lands,” said sophomore engineering student Jackson Beck.
While eco-friendly, the apparel is also fashionable, boasting the unmistakable maroon and orange colors. Koehn attests to the high-quality crafting of the material as well.
“If they take the time to do all the recycling, I feel like it’s worth investing in and supporting so many different organizations, ours and others,” said freshman biology major Sarah Higginbotham.
Ultimately, the combination of school spirit, serving others, and protecting the environment seems like a fine result of
donning a scarf to the next football game.
Follow this writer on Twitter @MaxLuongCT