Serving Sustainability with NC State Volleyball

The following post is written by Claire Henson, a student earning her master’s in textile engineering. Claire is currently a Campus As A Classroom intern with NC State Athletics.

Did you know that around 85% of unwanted textiles in the US are sent to a landfill? 

NC State Athletics and Wilson College of Textiles teamed up to block this trend by serving a sustainability-focused promotion and giveaway at a recent Wolfpack Women’s Volleyball game.

Claire Henson stands next to a textile recycling bin in the lobby of Reynold Gym while Volleyball game is being played.
Claire Henson promotes sustainability during a volleyball match at Reynolds Coliseum.

As part of the NC State Athletics Sustainable Wolfpack initiative, new athletic t-shirts were handed out to the first 200 fans who submitted an old shirt for exchange. The promotion introduced fans to textile recycling options, donation and reuse programs available on campus and in Wake County.

More than 500 t-shirts were collected for the “Give One, Take One” engagement activity. These shirts were then given to a local textile reclamation company that partners with Wilson College of Textiles to reduce textile waste through reuse and recycling. A portion of sales from the company is also donated to the Greater Good Textile Group, a campus student organization. 

Claire Henson, a textile engineering student organized the event as part of her Campus As A Classroom internship with NC State Athletics Fan Experience and Marketing Department.

“When I found the Campus as a Classroom program two years ago I knew that this internship was perfect for me. As an avid Wolfpack fan myself, I knew that this was a big opportunity to make a difference at the University,” said Henson, who has organized a Sustainable Wolfpack game for every fan-attended sport. 

Henson also initiated a Sustainability Fund Grant application to purchase tablets to create a paperless press box on football gamedays.

Teamwork has been key to the success of Wolfpack Athletics on and off the court, especially when leveraging the strengths of NC State’s students and academic colleges. 

“With us all working together, we are destined to make some great changes in the world for ourselves and future generations,” Henson said.