For the 2nd year in a row, Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona has partnered with Pima Community College’s Fashion Styling 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 – Hannah Nishimura

Hannah was inspired to create something entirely new with fabric from several dresses she picked up from Goodwill. “I ended up finding some really great dresses, mostly long dresses so I could have a lot of material,” Hannah says, “I got a long black dress, there’s a really nice burgundy color that’s nice and satiny, and a couple others.”

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

Impact of Upcycling

The process of turning existing clothing into something new is called upcycling. Working with used or recycled materials is much more environmentally friendly than using new fabrics. For Hannah, the sustainability aspect of this project has been particularly interesting.

“I think people just don’t think about all that goes into making garments and what kind of an impact it has on the environment…things really need to be reused because we can’t keep making all this new stuff just for it to end up going to waste. ”

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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