Retail organization at ECU aims to connect students to apparel industry


The East Carolina University chapter of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), an organization linking merchandising students at ECU to the local fashion industry around them, is hosting a denim drive which gives people the opportunity to recycle used jean products.

The all-female NRFSA executive board are all fashion merchandising majors, but differ from each other in terms of their backgrounds and individual roles within their committees. For this drive, the young entrepreneurs will come together to participate in Cotton Incorporated denim drive.

According to the ECU NRFSA Chapter Vice President, Rebecca Olsen, the chapter has a goal of 2,000 pieces of clothing and is accepting donations from ECU students and the Greenville community.

“We currently have bins set up all over campus (at) places such as Dowdy Student Store and Rivers and there are some in the Greenville area, (which are) located in Truly Yours Boutique and Bostic Sugg,” Olsen said.

The ECU NRFSA chapter decided to participate in the Cotton Inc. denim drive to not only help the company, but to give students the opportunity to recycle textiles, according to ECU NRFSA Chapter Secretary Kristen McKool.

“We wanted to find a way to support a good cause like Cotton Inc. within our community at ECU,” McKool, a junior fashion merchandising major, said. “It allows students to get rid of some old clothes in a way that is much more environmentally friendly than just throwing them in the trash.”

This year, ECU’s NRFSA is one of six collegiate chapters chosen from hundreds across the country to partner for “Blue Jeans Go Green,” a denim drive by Cotton Inc. All of the denim collected from the drive gets recycled into environmentally-safe insulation.

The majority of the donations from “Blue Jeans Go Green” go to non-profit groups such as those who work with the government, public use buildings and Habitat for Humanity, according to the ECU NRFSA chapter advisor Marina Alexander.

From the beginning of “Blue Jeans Go Green,” which kicked off on Sept. 5, the ECU NRFSA set out to beat the 500-item minimum goal set by Cotton Inc.

“Our main goal is to not only exceed 500 pieces of denim clothing while reaching out to the community at the same time,” Sydney Warren, a senior fashion merchandising major, said. “Participating in the drive means the community is coming together to support an amazing cause and strengthening our community’s relationship.”

The denim drive, according to Warren, ECU’s NRFSA Chapter President, isn’t a competition, but is a mission for members of their organization to accomplish. A form of friendly competition for a good cause, Warren added that she hopes to receive more jean donations than local collegiate NRFSA chapters, more specifically North Carolina State University.

“We definitely hope to surpass the number of jeans NC State collected, which was over 1,000,” Warren said. “I mean, we always want to beat our rivals, right?”

Currently, on-campus collection bins can be found on the third and second floor of Rivers Building and in front of Dowdy Student Stores in Wright Place. An off-campus donation bin is also available at Truly Yours boutique, which is located at 403 Evans St. in Uptown Greenville.

For more information about ECU’s chapter of the NRFSA or “Blue Jean Go Green,” visit the retail organization’s Instagram or Twitter page.

Categories: Apparel, Business, Retail, Textile, USA

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