CALS student gains experience as CottonWorks ambassador
Designing apparel is about more than making a fashion statement for Morgan Morrisroe. It also involves selecting textiles that are sustainable and empowering others to use clothing as self-expression.
Morrisroe is helping to promote the conscious selection of textiles as an ambassador with CottonWorks.com, a website created by Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit research and marketing company representing upland cotton. CottonWorks.com is a go-to textile resource for industry professionals and students to discover what’s possible with cotton. It offers webinars, videos and online courses, as well as other resources and research to help people produce better products from cotton.
“A lot of people think of cotton as a non-environmentally friendly crop, but the industry has done a lot of research and they are creating new ways to farm it and ways to reduce the impact on the Earth,” Morrisroe said.
Morrisroe is majoring in apparel, textiles and design in the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and learned of the ambassador program through faculty members in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Morrisroe is one of fewer than 20 CottonWorks.com ambassadors across the nation.
As part of the ambassador program, Morrisroe is responsible for promoting the website to faculty, staff and students at U of I.
“I think this is a really great website that we can use in the classroom because it’s free and you can access it anytime, as opposed to similar things we use in class that cost money,” Morrisroe said.
Morrisroe is hoping that the ambassadorship will help her to connect with professionals in her field.
“I’m hoping to go more into the design aspect, but I think being able to connect with other people, especially companies such as Cotton Incorporated, to learn more about where these products come from and to be able to use that to create products of my own will be helpful,” Morrisroe said.
Discovering a Career
Morrisroe first became interested in apparel while participating in UI Extension 4-H programs in her hometown of Homedale. She entered sewing projects in the Western Idaho Fair and modeled her creations. But, she didn’t realize that she could make a career out of her sewing interest until she attended the UI Extension 4-H State Teen Association Convention on the Moscow campus.
“I joined 4-H when I was six and I did sewing all throughout high school,” Morrisroe said. “We came up here and I decided to do the fashion lab because I like making things. I learned that I can do this thing that I like to do for fun as a career. So, that kind of sparked in my mind. I was still in high school and I realized that would be something I would really enjoy doing.”
Morrisroe also appreciated that the apparel program at the U of I was located within CALS, allowing her to have a deeper tie to how textile fibers are produced and their impact on the environment.
“I’m really looking into consciously choosing my textiles,” Morrisroe said. “We are an agricultural college, so I really care about that and I think the consumers care about that as well.”
Article by Amy Calabretta, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Article published in March 2018