Soybean, chicken feathers, and fashion? YCOSST Award Winners at the EPA P3 Competition

Students from the University of Delaware were the recipients of the 2011 Youth Council on Sustainable Science and Technology Award (YCOSST) for their unique use of local materials to design sustainable apparel and footwear. The students will receive $1,000, which will be provided by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Institute for Sustainability. The award was presented during EPA's P3 Student Competition, which took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The University of Delaware also received a P3 Honorable Mention Award.

[caption id="attachment_20413" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="On the left are prototypes of shoes that are made from soybean oil. On the right is a jacket designed with chicken feathers, a byproduct readily found in Delaware."]

Fashion students from the University of Delaware and their adviser were the recipients of the P3 YCOSST Award for their sustainable apparel.

The team of fashion students from the University of Delaware partnered with their engineering department to develop apparel and footwear products from thermoset resins, polyurethane foams, adhesive and nonwoven insulative materials derived from plant oils and chicken feathers. Their designs have even received support from Reebok and Nike. The project exceeded the YCOSST award criteria, which required the research and design involve interdisciplinary collaboration, innovative technologies, and locally produced materials. Check out the video in the right panel to hear more.


YCOSST was formed by the partnership of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' (AIChE) Institute for Sustainability (IfS) and SustainUS, a nonprofit organization of young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States. YCOSST's mission is to build understanding of sustainability issues and principles, raise awareness of the science and technology behind sustainable choices, and develop grassroots campus efforts.