From left, Jillian Kramer, Paula Bonanno, Stacey Lipschitz and Mingjiang Zhan display their oxford-style eco-shoe. Kramer, Bonanno and Lipschitz are Honors Program students.

Eco-attire wins design award

UD students honored for eco-friendly clothing, footwear

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8:23 a.m., April 21, 2011--Eco-friendly clothing and footwear has earned four University of Delaware undergraduates the 2011 Youth Council on Sustainable Science and Technology (YCOSST) P3 design award.

Given by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Institute for Sustainability, the award recognizes the UD research team’s interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in creating sustainable products.

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Five UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources graduates were presented with honors, including the George M. Worrilow Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, during a ceremony Oct. 17.

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The undergraduate research team includes Paula Bonanno, Jillian Kramer and Stacey Lipschitz from fashion and apparel studies and Quan Dan from chemical engineering.

Huantian Cao, associate professor in fashion and apparel studies, and Richard P. Wool, chemical engineering professor and director of the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES) program, advised the group with help from chemical engineering graduate student Mingjiang Zhan.

While interdisciplinary work between chemical engineering and fashion might seem like a stretch, Wool said it is potentially the most beneficial ACRES collaboration to date.

“Using biobased foam in place of toxic polyurethanes could revolutionize the high polluting leather industry. It could also lead to new multidisciplinary graduate degrees between chemical engineering and fashion,” he said.

The project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 program, a national student design competition for sustainability focusing on people, prosperity and the planet. This year’s competition was held April 16-17 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Read more about the eco-clothing project here.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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