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Student Spotlight

Chris Snook

Chris Snook

Marketing major eyes 'sustainable' apparel job in Morgantown

August 31, 2012

If he could have his way, when marketing major Chris Snook graduates next spring he'll stay right where he is.

Snook is an intern with SustainU, a company in Morgantown that sells clothing made in the United States solely from recycled materials.

And Snook, who came to WVU from Medina, Ohio, loves working there. "I actually like being at SustainU so much that I hope to land a job there," he said. "The company is only three years old, but it's growing rapidly, and I get the opportunity to work with people who share the same values that I do about being sustainable."

The company hopes to "change the way clothes are made to improve the environment, reinvigorate America's manufacturing sector, and educate the world about how clothing can positively impact people's lives," according to its website.

His duties are to build relationships with the music industry, and he has recently begun to contact breweries and festivals to market SustainU's products.

He recently scored a win for the company by developing a relationship with Lollapalooza in Chicago for the event next year, and he closed another deal with Ommegang Brewery of Cooperstown, N.Y., which is rated as one of the top craft breweries in America.

Although he has enjoyed creating relationships with the music industry, he is happy to be able to explore new territory. "Luckily I have the freedom to branch off and try to develop some new leads in other industries," he said. "SustainU has been a great experience for me so far because I'm allowed to make the full sale once I gain some interest from a company or event."

"Basically I try to reach out to the markets that would be interested in a green product such as our T-shirts," Snook said. "Adding Lollapalooza gives the company more credibility within the music industry. It is a great way for us to spread the word about what we do and to influence the way people view the environment. I am really looking forward to working with Lollapalooza because they seem to share the same interests as we do at SustainU." Lollapalooza is one of the biggest music festivals in the country.

Snook spent last spring in Dublin, Ireland, as an exchange student and visited much of Europe. "It was a great experience. While I was over there I went to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Belfast and all over Ireland," he said.

He also did a week-long backpacking trip that started in Munich and then went to Salzburg and Hallstatt (Austria), Venice, Florence and Rome.

In addition to his internship at SustainU, Snook, who attends WVU on a football scholarship, recently began a second internship for the WVU Athletics Marketing Dept.

Concerned about environmental issues, he believes the United States has to be more engaged in sustainability concerns.

"My time abroad made me realize how behind we are as a nation regarding sustainability," he commented. "You rarely see SUV's anywhere in Europe. You see a lot more bikes, especially in Amsterdam, which is why I loved that city so much. Germany and Austria are also extremely green. You see a solar panel everywhere you look. I tried to use my experience overseas to influence our society. But I am only one person."

He plans to attend graduate school "eventually," but hopes to first begin a career with SustainU or an outdoor industry company. "To me, marketing is just knowing what you have to offer and who is interested in that product. This is why I love what I do at SustainU. It's just nice to work for a company that is not all about making a profit but is about being environmentally and economically responsible."