A group of West Virginia University students will raiseA-WEAR-nessof textiles recycling and support a charitable organization at the same time.

Professor Tracy Vashs Fashion Design and Merchandising 230 class will be collecting wornusable and unusablegarments and textile products Oct. 29 through Dec. 3 for the A-WEAR-ness Campaign for the Homeless . The items will be donated to The Mission, a West Virginia support agency whose staff will sort the goods. Wearable donations will go to those in need while other items will be baled and sold to a recycling firm. All proceeds support programs and activities for homeless individuals and families at the shelter.

The project gives students a chance to examine the postconsumer process and become actively engaged in altering current disposal behaviors,said Vash , a visiting assistant professor in the Division of Design and Merchandising in WVU s Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences .Exploring alternatives at this educational level may potentially establish a foundation to support environmental responsibility.

Our efforts contributed to recycling over 600,000 pounds of textiles at The Mission in 2007,Vash added.This is an opportunity to take items that may not be wearable and give them new life, reducing waste and raising much-needed revenue for homeless individuals.

Vashs students are energized by the prospect of combining academics, environmentalism and civic engagement.

I feel excited to be able to help people who are less fortunate than we are while at the same time helping make the earth a better place by recycling textiles,said Laurie Ogu, a fashion design and merchandising major from Keyser.Giving back little by little can make a huge impact within our society and in the world.

Kimberly Harlow of Rockville, Md., agrees.

I feel that its a great way to help out those in need while encouraging students and young people to get involved in the community,Harlow said.It is a very grounding experience.

Caitlin Flanagan of Glenwood, Md., is eager to get started.

I have already spread the word to my whole family and all of my friends,Flanagan said.I think this is an incredible campaign that the fashion design and merchandising students are doing. We are all so blessed, and being able to give back is such a rewarding experience. Knowing that our actions can truly help the community is such a powerful thing, and Im grateful to be a part of this project.

Students will launch this years A-WEAR-ness Campaign for the Homeless with an information booth in the WVU Mountainlair. They will staff the booth from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. Students will also operate an information booth from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each Wednesday in November in theLair.

Drop-off boxes will be placed at various locations around campus. Recyclable textiles accepted for donation include clothing, shoes, purses, belts, bed linens, towels, stuffed animals, drapes, blankets and fabric scraps.

To learn more about donation sites, visit http://www.design.wvu.edu/apparel_recycling .

For more information, contact Vash at 304-293-3535 or ” Tracy.Vash@mail.wvu.edu rel=nofollow> Tracy.Vash@mail.wvu.edu .