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Students are now able to sign up for the free Grad Gown Reuse program as of May 1. The program is run by Green Campus in collaboration with the Food Pantry and Professional Clothing Closet to keep gowns out of landfills.

Students can sign up to borrow a gown at no cost for the Spring 2023 commencement. The maximum number of sign-ups for the Grad Gown Reuse program was reached but opened again on Monday. 

Students who previously bought gowns can donate them in three ways. Students can drop off their gowns at the Green Campus booth as they exit the stadium after the graduation ceremony. The front booth in front of Building 70 will be accepting donations the week after graduation. 

Students can also mail in their gowns over the summer to the following address: 

Grad Gown Reuse

Building 70 Room 117

1 Grand Avenue

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

A similar program years ago operated at the Spring 2018 and Fall 2018 commencement ceremonies. The pilot program’s future was uncertain since there was low participation. 

“They might not have had the staff or storage space,” environmental earth and soil science sophomore and Campus Reuse Team Member Carina Ballek shared. “Now [Green Campus] is taking over with our student team.”

The goal of both programs remains the same: reducing waste by reusing gowns.

“Over the past three decades, graduation gowns have transitioned to polyester, a petroleum-based fabric that does not biodegrade,” according to Earth911. “More than 5 million gowns wind up in landfills every year.”

 The program is beneficial to students who are unable to purchase the gown. This year, a cap and gown cost $50 and the sash an additional $39. 

Currently, Ballek states there are 130 gowns available. However, Ballek said spots are opening as students can get gowns from alumni and friends.

Sign up via this Google Form to request a gown, provided on a first-come first-served basis.