Cleaning up in the athletic apparel business
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
Within a few months, Haz, a School of Communications major who is minoring in entrepreneurship and small business management, became the ultimate dream weaver as she blended the fibers from recycled water bottles into her collection of leggings, tank tops and sports bras.
Each pair of leggings, for example, is manufactured with fibers from 18 water bottles. There are fibers from 16 water bottles in each tank top and another 10 in each sports bra.
Her sustainable work has not gone unnoticed. Haz was selected as the Entrepreneur of the Year in the student category at the 2020 Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards just two weeks ago.
“Through travel with sports, I realized our single-use plastic pollution problem is ever growing and our oceans are filling up with waste,” Haz said in one of her recent videos. “How cool would it be to upcycle single-use plastics like recycled bottles into something functional?”
All of SEAAV’s products are made from recycled materials and manufactured in Indonesia. Haz fulfills her orders in Hamden and ships them in compostable mailers. As someone who grew up with the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island in Canada, she incorporates sustainability and style into her product line.
“Our first collection of designs are on trend, butter soft, moisture wicking and have multiple color options,” said Haz, an accelerated dual-degree (3+1) student majoring in advertising and integrated communications in the School of Communications.
Dale Jasinski, associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, has taught Haz in three entrepreneurship classes at Quinnipiac and served as a mentor for SEAAV Athletics.
“It’s not just a theoretical idea. You can go on the website and purchase her athletic wear right now,” Jasinski, a former entrepreneur. “She is extremely hard working and motivated to be successful. She’s also very active on the competitive college circuit.”
In addition to her Connecticut recognition, Haz has been named a finalist in the 2020 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs at Smith College. This year’s event will offer more than $100,000 in cash and scholarships. The virtual finals will be held Aug. 7.
Although the finals for the 2020 e-Fest and Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge in Minneapolis were canceled this spring, Haz was chosen one of 25 finalists from 65 colleges and universities across North America. As a finalist, Haz was presented with a $3,000 prize and Quinnipiac was awarded a $1,000 grant.
Watch videos from Haz and the other finalists here.
“The day Mckenna sat in my office and started telling me about this idea, I was excited about it,” Jasinski said. “She’s the kind of student who elevates a classroom. She’s worked on this with her friends, so it’s touching lives and benefiting other students, too.”
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