In addition to donning the traditional Carolina blue at tomorrow’s graduation ceremony, UNC seniors will wear robes this year that also feature a new shade — green.
Made entirely from post-consumer plastic bottles, the seniors’ graduation gowns are more environmentally friendly than in past years, said John Gorsuch, director of Student Stores. He said each gown is produced from about 23 bottles, depending on the length of the gown.
The gowns were produced as the result of a collaboration with Oak Hall Cap & Gown and have been made of sustainable materials since 2011. Vice President Donna Hodges said the company has been producing environmentally-friendly gowns, known as GreenWeaver gowns, since 2009.
After experimenting with bamboo, Hodges said the company decided to use plastic bottles because it didn’t create as many wrinkles. She said t the gowns are lightweight to provide comfort on graduation day.
Of the two million caps and gowns the company produces each year, Hodges said more than 600,000 of them are made from recycled plastic bottles. She said more than 14 million plastic bottles have been used to manufacture the GreenWeaver gowns.