Students to graduate in eco-friendly caps and gowns made from recycled bottles

A scene from last year’s undergraduate commencement. Here, graduates wear the same type of eco-friendly caps and gowns that will be worn on May 20.

As part of the university’s continued sustainability efforts, our graduates will don caps and gowns made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles on May 20.

The eco-friendly gowns are virtually indistinguishable in color, feel or fit from traditional polyester material. The only features not made of recycled materials are the tassel, the button on the top of the cap and the gown’s zipper.

“They have so many nice attributes,” said Maria Bimonte, director of shared services. “They’re more comfortable, breathable and less likely to wrinkle than our old gowns. The gowns are another important part of our greater sustainability efforts. I think people will notice this and say, ‘Wow! This is great.’”

The gowns, which are manufactured by Oak Hall Cap & Gown, use recycled ink and are made in the United States. Oak Hall estimates that it takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown.

Learn more about the university’s green initiatives


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