The Sixth Annual CARS Industry Summit, to be held in the EUC on April 23rd, will wrap up this year’s Capstone Course, CRS 481, by tackling one of the leading challenges in the apparel industry today – sustainability.
In collaboration with Unifi, Inc., this year’s Capstone project requires students to create an apparel product and carry it from concept to retail using Unifi’s recycled fibers. The Capstone project is unique because CARS seniors are asked to address real-world problems in the apparel industry and develop answers to those problems with the assistance of industry leaders; a valuable opportunity for students prior to entering the job market.
To prepare for the Industry Summit, Capstone students toured Unifi plants in Reidsville and Yadkinville to watch and learn the process of creating REPREVE© polyester; a process that takes plastic bottles and breaks them down into “flakes,” which are then melted down into chips to create polyester yarn. These fibers are woven into yarns and ultimately turned into fabric that is used for clothing and a variety of other products that we use daily. Additionally, Unifi uses the byproducts of these two processes to create a resin used in packaging materials, keeping waste of all materials to a minimum.
Due to the varying skills this project requires, Retail and Consumer Studies concentration students collaborate with Apparel Design concentration students in small groups to combine their distinct areas of expertise. Using fabric samples graciously donated by Unifi, each group must develop a garment, a marketing plan, and a retail plan to be presented in front of the panel at the Industry Summit.
On April 23rd, the Industry Summit will begin with a panel discussion moderated by Unifi’s Director of Disruptive Technologies, Dr. Edmir Silva, who also serves on the CARS Industry Advisory Board. Panel members will include other Unifi executives along with representatives of Under Armor who partner with Unifi in their sustainability efforts. After the panel discussion, students will have the opportunity to network with panel members followed by student presentation competition, the conferring of awards, and a reception.
CARS is excited to have the opportunity to partner with such a strong leader in sustainable textile manufacturing. The Industry Summit is open to the public. Please contact the CARS Department for further details about this event.