Re-Rebs: A new campus clothing recycling program

Re-Rebs is a new clothing recycling program at the University of Mississippi.

Mia McKey, Ross Cohen

Related Topics:
Colleges & Education, Conservation, Pollution, Recycling & Upcycling, Storyfest 2024, Sustainability

At the University of Mississippi, we are dedicated to building a legacy of charity and sustainability. A new, innovative initiative, Re-Rebs, aims to support our university members and the broader community while leaving the environment in better shape for future generations.

In recent years, textile waste has emerged as a significant environmental threat, largely fueled by the rise of the fast-fashion industry. This industry churns out trendy clothing, often mass-produced and sold at low prices. Unfortunately, this has led to a culture of rapidly purchasing and discarding clothing, resulting in overflowing landfills packed with perfectly wearable items.

Young adults are most likely to buy, wear and throw away fast-fashion clothing, so the problem is especially acute on a college campus. The mission of Re-Rebs is to redirect these clothing items from Oxford’s landfills to the hands of those who truly need them.

Re-Rebs had its humble beginnings in a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College course at Ole Miss. Our program’s goal is to introduce permanent clothing donation bins in residence halls to provide UM students easy access to donation sites that will divert textiles away from landfills and put them to good use. To achieve this, we are currently relying on the generosity of UM donors through our Ignite Fundraising Campaign to secure the necessary funding to purchase and install permanent donation bins.

Honors College Ambassadors will play a pivotal role in ensuring the sustained success of this program. Through the clothing collected, we will support a range of charitable organizations, including the UM Career Closet, which provides business attire to students in need; Holding Hands, a local organization employing Lafayette County residents, particularly those facing mental health challenges; and the Pregnancy Center of Oxford.

Implementing Re-Rebs across campus will make it easier for students to donate their clothing. This project serves as a powerful weapon against textile waste, benefits the Lafayette-Oxford-University community and raises awareness about the harmful effects of fast fashion.

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