Cleaning up in the athletic apparel business

Haz holding a microphone and speaking

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hen Mckenna Haz ’21, MBA ’22 founded her green apparel company, SEAAV Athletics, last fall, she spun together her passions: the ocean, athletics and entrepreneurship.

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.

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“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?”

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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.

Haz standing in front of a SEAAV Athletics background

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“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.”

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“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.”