Three College Students Explore T-shirt Sustainability in Behind-the-Scenes “Crop to Campus” Documentary That Shows Step-by-Step Process in the Apparel Supply Chain

The seven-part minidocumentary follows three North Carolina State University students on an all-questions-answered journey from cotton field to finished T-shirt
Sep 9, 2020 5:45 PM ET

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., September 9, 2020 /3BL Media/ - HanesBrands, a socially responsible manufacturer and marketer of leading everyday basic apparel, is releasing a seven-part minidocumentary commissioned to let millennials and Generation-Z youth explore how the iconic T-shirt fits with their views on responsible fashion.

The “Crop to Campus” documentary, created by award-winning filmmaker Rod Murphy of Asheville, North Carolina, follows three North Carolina State University now-graduated seniors from the Wilson College of Textiles as they review every step of T-shirt manufacturing.

The documentary’s first episode is available on and introduces the students who follow the supply chain of the T-shirt from farm field to end consumer. Subsequent episodes will drop every Tuesday for the next six weeks, concluding with the availability of the full 20-minute minidocumentary.

The students – Mamie Trigg of Austin, Texas, Katy Powers of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Sydney Parker of Raleigh, North Carolina – take the journey by visiting, discussing and interacting with farmers, employees and communities integral to making a Hanes ComfortWash T-shirt.

Murphy, the filmmaker, followed the students last year to cotton fields and yarn spinning in the southeast United States, to HanesBrands-owned fabric knitting, cutting and sewing in El Salvador, and finally back to campus in Raleigh where the venerable T-shirt serves as a critical part of the wardrobe of college students.

“This was a great project primarily because of the openness of everyone involved,” said Murphy, who has won 14 awards for his first four documentary feature films. “No topics were off the table. As seniors, the students came into this project at a crossroads where they are passionate about textiles and apparel but deeply concerned about fashion’s impact on the future of the planet.”

HanesBrands commissioned the documentary to assess how well its corporate social responsibility resonate with the expectations of millennials and Generation-Z youth.

“HanesBrands, unlike most manufacturers in the apparel industry, owns the majority of its supply chain, which gives us distinct advantages in not only cost, scale and flexibility but also control of how that manufacturing is conducted,” said Chris Fox, HanesBrands’ vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We exert great influence to ensure environmentally and socially responsible production.

“From responsibly grown and harvested cotton to low-waste yarn-spinning operations to investing in biomass, hydro and geothermal energy, we’ve made a commitment to identify opportunities to improve our ecological footprint and social impact at every stage of the supply chain. We also have an actively engaged employee base around the globe that is committed to constantly improving our processes and the communities in which we operate. This film offers both these students and the rest of the world an inside look at one of our company’s strongest assets.”

The documentary episode release dates and topics are:

  • Sept. 8: “Crop to Campus: The Journey Begins”
  • Sept. 15: “U.S. Grown Cotton”
  • Sept. 22: “Yarn Spinning in the U.S.A.”
  • Sept. 29: “El Salvador Production: Stitch by Stitch”
  • Oct. 6: “Community: It’s About the People”
  • Oct. 13: “Back to Campus: Tee Party”
  • Oct. 20: “Takeaways: How important is responsible manufacturing?”

Crop to Campus also will be screened in its entirety on Thursday, Oct. 8, with a virtual event in conjunction with the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem. Visit to learn more about the documentary series, or for more information about Hanes’ responsible manufacturing practices.

HanesBrands, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company sells its products under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Bonds, DIM, Maidenform, Bali, Playtex, Lovable, Bras N Things, Nur Die/Nur Der, Alternative, L’eggs, JMS/Just My Size, Wonderbra, Berlei, and Gear for Sports. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. A Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500 stock index (NYSE: HBI), Hanes has approximately 63,000 employees in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit the company’s corporate website at and newsroom at Connect with the company via social media: Twitter (@hanesbrands), Facebook (, Instagram (@hanesbrands), and LinkedIn (@Hanesbrandsinc).