You can clean out your closet, help the homeless, and keep a lid on our burgeoning landfills at the same time with the help of the annual A-WEAR-ness Campaign for the Homeless.

West Virginia University’s Fashion Design and Merchandising 235 class will again be collecting worn, unusable garments and textile products from Nov. 2 to Dec. 2.

“Apparel that is usable will be recovered and distributed to help homeless individuals and families,” said Tracy Vash, a visiting assistant professor in the Division of Design and Merchandising in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “Goods that are torn or too worn will be baled at the Clarksburg Mission and then recycled.” The shelter will then sell the bales to a recycling firm. Proceeds will then go to support Mission programs and activities.

Recyclable textiles accepted for donation include clothing, shoes, purses, belts, bed linens, blankets, towels, and stuffed toys.

Drop-off boxes will be placed at various locations on and off campus. These include: the lobby of the Agricultural Sciences Building, the Blue and Gold Gate entrances of the Coliseum, the lobby of the Creative Arts Center, the Health Sciences Center (near the cafeteria and bookstore), the Mountainlair (near the information desk). Percival Hall, the Child Learning Center, the Student Recreation Center (outside, in the permanent blue bin), and the District.

“Students in the Fashion Design and Merchandising program study apparel production. This project allows them to actively participate in creating a positive ecological alternative to post-consumer textile waste,” said Vash.

Since the campaign’s creation in 2005, over 82,000 pounds of textiles have been collected for redistribution and recycling. A permanent collection box has been installed at the Student Recreation Center on WVU’s Evansdale Campus, and a second will be placed at WVU’s Intermodal Facility.

Each truckload of recycled goods will generate cash to assist the Mission in their care of homeless individuals and families.

For information on the project, please visit: or contact Vash at 304-293-3535 or via e-mail at



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CONTACT: David Welsh