For the 2nd year in a row, Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona has partnered with Pima Community College’s Fashion Textiles Class. The PCC Fashion students are tasked with upcycling clothing found at Goodwill stores into high fashion garments for the 2020 PCC FashionArte Show in May.

Project Profile – Emma West

Emma is creating a 50’s style oversized jacket with a pastel color palette. Using a large yellow jacket as the base, Emma is planning on adding patches of color cut from silk dress shirts. All her materials were sourced from local Goodwill stores.

The theme of the jacket is based on her class’s brand, CurioCity. The brand will be a complete collection produced by the class using the guiding design principles of pastel colors, feathery embellishments, and a chic 1950s aesthetic.

Impact of Upcycling

Emma defines upcycling as, “Buying something at a thrift store that maybe doesn’t look its best and creating something totally different and brand new.” She has been doing this long before the project was assigned in class. “I actually go [to Goodwill] a lot as it is right now,” says Emma. “It’s kind of something I do pretty regularly to try to upcycle, see what I can find there.”

Upcycling is an important and growing trend in the fashion industry. The rise of fast fashion (cheap, disposable, mass produced clothing) has led to an increase in landfill volume as well strains on resources needed to produce all new material. As the original recycler, Goodwill helps with that problem by offering used clothing a new life while also keeping 30 million pounds of materials out of Southern Arizona landfills per year.

Community Impact

In addition to the benefits of upcycling, shopping at Goodwill stores also directly supports our community in Tucson. Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona invests nearly every penny earned back into the community through job training, youth mentoring, and employment for Southern Arizonans who need a hand up providing better lives for themselves and their families. Visit for more information on how they’re benefitting  our community.

About Goodwill of Southern Arizona

The mission of Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona has always been to provide a “hand up” to those looking to provide a better life for themselves and their families. We believe that jobs are transformational; they can strengthen both the community and families through the POWER OF WORK.

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