The common cap and gown is bad for the environment. They are made from polyester which takes a very long time to biodegrade. Also they are typically only used once which means a lot of energy was used to make something that will be worn for a few hours and probably thrown away. There are some eco-friendly solutions out there, and it is great if someone buys theirs secondhand rather than wasting something that will never be used again.
There are many schools that rent their caps and gowns, then return them. New York University has a rental system in place. Although, of course, polyester still isn’t great for the environment, not all schools make their students buy their academic attire for a one-time occasion. It is much better to reuse the existing caps and gowns.
Both recyclable and biodegradable caps and gowns are available and in use at many schools.
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