The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


This poll has ended.

Do you have plans for Valentine's Day?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Loading Recent Classifieds...

How fashion majors plan to use degree

Cam’ron Hardy

Fashion advocacy has become a popular topic in the fashion merchandising program this year.  

Fashion merchandising professor Katherine Shaw noticed a significant increase in students who have been interested in sustainability and social change through fashion.  

“Fashion has always been a tool for social change, but it’s something we’re thinking about now more than we ever did before,” Shaw said.  

Sophomore fashion merchandising student, Wyatt Stanley, joined the program because of his interest in fashion sustainability.  

“Right now, I’m really focused on sustainability in fashion, especially with the rise of fast fashion and how that’s becoming more and more wasteful,” Stanley said. “I’m trying to be the antithesis of that.”  

Some sustainable practices Stanley implements include researching brands’ manufacturing processes, investing in quality pieces, and buying second-hand.  

To reduce impulse buying, Stanley plans his purchases for weeks.   

“I think sustainability in fashion has a lot lower of an entry point than people think. Just buy vintage, don’t buy new,” Stanley said. “And if you are buying new make sure it is a piece that will last you a very long time.”  

After graduating, Stanley plans on using his degree to open a retail clothing store.  

“The thing that I’m interested in is hopefully owning a retail business so that I can push these sustainable brands that I care about,” Stanley said. 

One brand he would like to sell in his store is Story mfg., a sustainable brand that uses organic dyes and recyclable fabrics. 

Junior 2D studio student, Katie Cobb hopes to use her minor in fashion merchandising to design clothing that advocates for minorities. 

“I want to have my own business and sell clothing that can support the LGBTQ community because I have noticed that I don’t see businesses that are doing that,” Cobb said. 

She believes fashion advocacy is important because it empowers the person wearing the clothing in a way that is more authentic than sharing a post on social media. 

Cobb is currently creating a business plan to start her fashion line. She plans on researching underrepresented issues and designing clothes that draw awareness to them. 

“I want to find things that people feel they can’t talk about or speak out against and give them a way to,” Cobb said.  

One issue that Cobb is particularly passionate about is gun violence in Chicago. Cobb is from the east side of Chicago and has witnessed the effects of gun violence first-hand. 

“I’m trying to advocate for the soldiers that have fallen,” Cobb said. “I feel like they need to be represented. I want to create things that can persuade people to stop killing,” says Cobb.  

Due to the increasing interest in fashion advocacy, the fashion merchandising program will be holding a fashion show next semester on April 24 for National Denim Day.  

National Denim Day is an advocacy event created by Peace Over Violence as a way for people to support sexual assault victims. The pieces in the show will be designed by fashion merchandising students and members of the Merchandising and Apparel Design Association.  

To prepare for the show, the fashion merchandising program will be collecting denim in donation boxes across campus next semester.  



Alexis Johnson can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].



Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest