Sustainable Fashion Research

Arabella Gonzalez
Emphasis Area
Fashion Studies

Arabella Gonzalez pursued her interests in sustainable fashion and expanded her research skills as a remote intern at Eco-Stylist.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose this opportunity?

I got my internship by going onto the Handshake (the university database for internships and jobs) and searching for fashion internships. I saw this eco-stylist company and I have recently learned about sustainability so it really caught my attention. I applied but I did not hear back from the company. I was a bit bummed at first, but then I followed-up with a call, and got an interview. I then had to do a trial project for this internship, and he enjoyed my work, then I got the job!

I chose this internship because I had already been learning about sustainability in my classes and wanted to learn more and get involved in a sustainability-focused experience. These past years I have been really into becoming environmentally-friendly and when I saw that I could possibly turn that passion into a career I wanted to look into it. I liked that part of the criteria for this internship would be to research sustainable brands. By doing this I would learn more about sustainability while also gaining professional experience.

What was the biggest project that you worked on?

Soon after I started my internship, my supervisor came to me and asked if I wanted to help with the research for a major project. I was super stoked and flattered that he had trusted me since I have not been with the company for that long. I collected the data that Eco-Stylist had on each brand and combined it with new research I did to create a filter for their website to help customers use more refined search criteria to find what they are looking for. It was something that had a tangible impact and an accomplishment that I was credited with at the company.

What was your favorite part of the internship?

My favorite part of my internship was the amount of knowledge that I gained from the experience. Also another favorite part would be the respect I gained for sustainable brands. The research I did showed me the ways that they are going above and beyond for the environment while still keeping up with fashion trends. The brands I researched maintain their uniqueness by using sustainable materials and I enjoyed learning about how they’re able to keep their values and their business. I also really enjoyed that I was able to see my own professional growth from beginning to end of the internship. 

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship experience? 

One thing that was unique about my internship is that it was remote. I never had to worry about having scheduling conflicts between my classes and the internship, which was such a relief. Another thing that was unique about my internship experience was that I got mentorship each month to help me pursue job opportunities. My supervisor really helped me use my storytelling skills to better my resume, cover letter and applications. What was also interesting is that I was able to get the opportunity to grow in this internship by creating projects and using my own ideas. 

How did your Applied Humanities coursework help prepare you for the internship experience?

The Applied Humanities coursework has helped me prepare for my internship in many ways. For example, I was able to use my research skills to be successful in my position. I also took the strategy of cold-calling from PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness to land this internship when I reached out to the supervisor after applying. This was one of the most useful strategies that prepared me for my internship because it’s the strategy that ended up helping me land my position.

This internship was also related to my Applied Humanities degree in other ways. For example, the major emphasizes bettering the human condition, and that’s a shared value of my internship, given that sustainability plays a role in this betterment. Another way the internship was connected to my Applied Humanities degree is the emphasis on collaboration and analyzing. I really developed my skills in these areas as I communicated with my supervisor about the brands that I would discover in my research.