Fashion Professor Receives Grant from Cotton Inc. to Fund Classroom Project
This spring, Kent State Fashion School professor, Dr. Gargi Bhaduri, received a grant from the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated to fund a classroom project developed to advance students’ awareness and understanding of the demand, the sustainability and the use and the performance of cotton in the fashion industry.
With this grant, Fashion Merchandising students were challenged with a semester-long branding and marketing project focused on highlighting sustainability in the entire supply process for cotton starting from fiber and fabric, to consumption and even post-consumption (such as recycling and upcycling).
Approximately 180 fashion students participated in this event which consisted of 34 teams of four to six students each. The teams created an innovative and interactive online branding and marketing campaign for a sustainable fashion brand that uses cotton or cotton-rich products and incorporates technological innovation into their product line, allowing them to promote cotton as a fabric of choice amongst consumers.
Throughout the semester, students worked with Dr. Lisa Valendza, Instructor at The Fashion School and a branding expert, as well as LaunchNET, an entrepreneurial organization on campus, that consulted with the student groups and provided them with the tools necessary to excel and succeed in the competition.
Five student teams made it to the finals and received the opportunity to present their final ideas to a panel of two external judges.
First place was awarded to the student team of Taylor Bentley, Christina Fazio, Cassandra Lyon, Marissa McDonald and Keisha Mitchell who developed their strategy around the Australian brand, Bhumi. Their branding campaign, “Come Back to Mother Earth”, focused on promoting the sustainable and eco-friendly side of cotton clothing and home furnishing products for the brand.
As an award for winning the competition, each student was awarded a scholarship and a fully-paid trip to the Cotton Incorporated headquarters to further advance the awareness and understanding of cotton among students that they will be able to use in their prospective fashion careers.
About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton.
The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.
Cotton Incorporated aims to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton through research and promotion. and to ensure that cotton remains the first choice among consumers in apparel and home products.
Brittani Peterson, marketing associate, bpeter12 [at] kent.edu