Our framework for meaningful education focused at the center of organizational success, real world challenges, and sustainability and social impact is rooted in research. Each GCNYC graduate student completes unique research in order to graduate, and while many of our students leverage their research skills and new found knowledge in the day to day work of their roles leading sustainability for well-known organizations around the world, we are thrilled when our alumni continue to engage in research and publishing.
We are proud to share recently published works from alumni Evan MaCauley, Vice President of Innovation and Sustainable Business Transformation at Calvin Klein, and Shannon Welch, Director of Sustainability at Chapter 2 Agency. Both Evan and Shannon built upon their master’s thesis to develop novel frameworks in their respective subject matters.
“Exploring the Business Case for Textile-to-Textile Recycling Using Post-Consumer Waste in the US: Challenges and Opportunities” published in the peer reviewed journal Sustainability, co-authored by Evan McCauley of GCNYC and Iva Jestratijevic of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas, explores the commercial potential of recycling post-consumer textile waste in the US including the business case for using this waste as an input to textile-to-textile recycling.
This research orients to three main objectives: exploring the dynamics between post-consumer waste traders and recyclers; investigating challenges to faster scaling of textile waste feedstocks and the processing of this waste into new fibers; and providing theoretical and practical foundations for effective interventions in this area. Employing a grounded theory approach, Ms. McCauley and Ms. Jestratijevic utilized semi-structured interviews with eleven senior representatives from textile sorting and fiber recycling organizations with operations in the US.
The results of this research revealed that the primary barriers to progress are commercial in nature. There is no financial incentive to take actions needed to reduce environmental impact. They propose an expansion of market partnerships to broaden target feedstocks, to potentially allow the mounting waste problem to be meaningfully addressed. Questions remain to be explored; it remains unclear how infrastructure development in the US might be financed or conducted to address the identified barriers. Meanwhile, accumulation of textile waste in US landfills shows no signs of slowing down.
“Socially Responsible Consumption and Marketing in Practice” published in the edited book Dealing with Socially Responsible Consumers: Studies in Marketing, co-authored by Madhavi Venkatesan of Northeastern University, Martina Yorde Rincon of Northeastern University, Kathleen Grevers of Northeastern University and Fashion Revolution USA, Shannon M. Welch of GCNYC and Fashion Revolution USA & Elizabeth L. Cline of Remake, conducts a historical overview of social media, specifically addressing how social media has been used for advertising and information dissemination.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer both unique and overlapping opportunities to connect with people. The use of images and visual content reduces language barriers, while ease of access to these media applications increases routine engagement. The work looks at two specific social media campaigns that originated to promote understanding of needed action and social change in fashion systems including #PayUp and #HashtagRevolt.
The authors provide outcomes of these campaigns, including campaign accomplishments, learnings, and implications. They acknowledge limitations related to using social media for social change, highlight the ambiguities, and a rationale for ongoing regulatory oversight.
Learn more about GCNYC student research here.