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Georgia Southern Partners with Renew Merchandise to Create Apparel from Recycled Bottles

The College of Business and Center for Sustainability has partnered with Renew Merchandise, a company that specializes in turning recyclables into clothes, to begin offering Georgia Southern licensed apparel made from recycled plastic bottles. Though the project is in the beginning stages, developments will take place during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“Who would deliberately throw money into the trash can?” said Lissa Leege, director of Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability. “This partnership with Renew Merchandise will help our campus community realize this is exactly what we are doing when we trash plastic bottles and other recyclables.”

Renew Merchandise takes recyclable plastic bottles and turns them into various products, including t-shirts, polos, uniforms and other consumer goods. The company uses a 5-step solution beginning with collecting and sorting post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and later turns the bottles into yarn to produce merchandise. Several companies already using the products are Ford, McDonald’s and the United States Tennis Association, along with various Major League Baseball teams including the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.

“We are very excited that Georgia Southern, my alma mater, has decided to join our fast-growing list of partners,” said Renew president J.T. Marburger. “We want students involved in the project to gain real world experience while being eco-minded and this is a great way to do both.”

Beginning this summer, College of Business classes will start the branding phase of the project. The branding phase will continue into the fall and will culminate into a marketing plan developed by the Master of Business Administration Strategic Marketing Management class. Once the marketing plan is finalized, a retail point of sale will be determined and merchandise will be sold. Details about where merchandise may be purchased are still developing.

With the help of on-campus student organizations, student ambassadors will spread the word on campus about the new sustainability program. The Georgia Southern Center for Sustainability (CfS) will be a key component to this project.

For more information, contact Kate Channell, director of marketing & media for the College of Business, at 912-478-4488 or by emailing


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