Class of 2014 dons regalia made from recycled bottles

The gowns worn by CSU Monterey Bay’s graduates will still be black, but come commencement day on May 17, they’ll also be green.

Plastic bottles are used to make commencement gownsHerff Jones, the company that supplies the earth-friendly gear, has created a line of graduation regalia manufactured from Repreve, a fiber made of recycled materials, including plastic bottles. It takes approximately 29 bottles to make a gown, the company says.

The plastic bottles are chopped, ground, melted and reformulated into chips that go through a proprietary process that produces yarn. Every pound of yarn that goes into the fabric used in the gowns saves one-half gallon of gasoline and produces half the CO2 emissions of the typical polyester manufacturing process, according to the company.

The only part of the gown not made from recycled material is the zipper.

Not only is this smart for the environment, but CSUMB commencement coordinator Phyllis Grillo said the recycled gowns look better than the non-recycled options.

“They wrinkle less,” Grillo said. “And students appreciate the ‘green’ aspect.”

Photo by Shazari (via Flickr)