The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Illinois State University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! This series, CAST 50×50, will highlight 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and organizations within CAST that make the college special. These notable people will tell you that every day in CAST is a great day to be a Redbird.

Today #CAST50 is excited to feature ‘Fix It Friday’ a division of the Fashion Merchandising & Design Association (FMDA). This profile features both a student, Maddie Willer, and the faculty advisor, Elisabeth Reed, of FMDA.

What is your position within CAST?

Elisabeth: Instructional assistant professor in fashion design and merchandising and faculty advisor for the FDMA.

What is your major, extra-curricular involvement & how did you get involved with Fix It Friday?

Maddie Willer, senior Fashion Merchandising major.

Maddie Willer, senior Fashion Merchandising major.

Maddie: I am a senior fashion merchandising major. I am a fashion blogger for The Vidette as well as the model director for the 2017 Illinois State Fashion Show. I got involved with Fix It Friday through my internship with The Office of Sustainability this semester. Fix It Friday has really been the perfect pairing of my two passions; fashion and sustainability.  Through my internship at The Office of Sustainability I was able to apply and receive a grant through the Student Sustainability Committee to sustain the life of the Fix It Friday initiative.

Tell us about Fix it Friday! How did the idea for Fix It Friday start?

Elisabeth: Fix It Friday is a collaboration between the Fashion Design and Merchandising Association and the Office of Sustainability. Our fashion students set up “shop” in various places around campus and the surrounding community (in food truck style!) to mend and sew clothing items in need of basic repair for FREE. The idea for Fix It Friday started when I read an article about an art professor who would set up his sewing machine a couple times a year in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and mend clothes for the homeless. I read the article and thought, our students could do something like this!

Elisabeth Reed, faculty advisor for Fix It Friday.

Elisabeth Reed, faculty advisor for FDMA.

What do you enjoy most about your job / what is your favorite part of your job?

Elizabeth: There are so many great parts to my job, it is difficult to choose a favorite! If I had to choose, it would probably be working with passionate, talented students who are eager to learn and ready to make the world a better place!

What do you enjoy most about being a student in CAST & being a part of Fix It Friday?

Maddie: The thing I love most about being a student in CAST is the ability to be surrounded by so many passionate individuals and being apart of Fix It Friday has only been an extension of that. All of our volunteers have been so eager to help and truly be apart of the solution in reducing textile waste.  It has been a blast to watch this idea truly come to life.

What are the goals for Fix it Friday? Where do you see Fix It Friday going?

Elisabeth: Fix It Friday an effort to educate and help consumers to FIX their clothing rather than to be so quick to discard them. We hope Fix It Friday can become a monthly occurrence for many years to come and something the community can depend on!

Think you know someone that should be featured? Contact us!