Arriving at Ohio State in 2021 with a preexisting passion for fashion, Molly Hoskin, a third-year in environment, economy, development and sustainability, was excited to combine her personal interest with her major.
When searching for an on-campus organization that targeted both, however, she came up empty-handed.
“I had the idea of looking for a sustainable fashion club,” Hoskin said. “So, I was actively searching for one, and there were actually listings of fashion clubs, but not specifically one catered towards sustainability.”
Roughly 1 1/2 years later, Hoskin co-founded Students for Sustainable Fashion — an on-campus organization that promotes environmental and economic sustainability with specific regard to fashion — in March. The 2023-24 academic year marks the club’s first year in action, Hoskin said.
Hoskin, also the current president of Students for Sustainable Fashion, said plans for the club were initially made in February. Also known as SFSF, it gained traction at Ohio State’s 2023 Sustainability Fair and Earth Day Festival in March, Hoskin said.
“Socially, I think people are conscious of sustainability, and they just might not know how to be more sustainable,” Hoskin said.
Fast fashion is the mass production of low-cost clothing in response to the latest fashion trends, according to the environmental nonprofit Earth.Org. Often, this process can be inhumane and ecologically harmful.
Audrey Cash, a third-year in environmental science and vice president of SFSF, said popular brands like H&M, ZARA and Shein are some key contributors who have pushed fast fashion to the forefront of American consumerism.
Nevertheless, Cash said SFSF doesn’t want to shame people for buying from these brands.
“Even if [students] kind of know that it’s bad, it’s so convenient and easy and cheap and affordable to just go online and order from a fashion website,” Cash said.
Because SFSF operates within a college setting, Hoskin and Cash said sharing the organization’s mission with students is essential for encouraging fashion-centric sustainability efforts that will last on and off campus.
“If we educate people now, while we’re still young people, then for our whole lives we’ll know about that and be able to pass it on to other people,” Cash said.
Moving forward, Hoskin said SFSF plans to hold community-based events, activities and workshops where students can not only learn about sustainable fashion but also meet peers with common interests.
While their main focus is sustainable fashion and raising awareness for the movement, SFSF also aims to make students conscious of sustainability in all aspects of life, Cash said.
“Fashion is just one stepping stone of the greater picture, as well,” Hoskin said. “A lot of people are interested in fashion. And teaching them about sustainable fashion will make them interested in learning about the bigger picture and how to be overall more sustainable — not just with fashion.”
Hoskin said SFSF will be holding their first event from 2-3 p.m. Sunday on The Oval. In addition to free ice cream, attendees can look forward to upcycling their old T-shirts and jeans, Hoskin said.
More information about Students for Sustainable Fashion can be found on the club’s Instagram or the official Ohio State organization webpage.