May 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

There's a shortage of graduation garb

Illustration of eyeballs wearing graduation cap

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

No area of the economy has been spared from shortage issues, including the cap-and-gown industry. 

Catch up quick: Herff Jones, Balfour and Jostens are among the makers of graduation regalia that are working overtime to ship robes, caps, hoods and tassels to grads in time for ceremonies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Staff shortages, supply chain issues from the past year, and new COVID-related shutdowns in China are all to blame.

What they’re saying: Herff Jones is operating two Illinois plants 19 hours a day, six days a week, the company told the Journal.

For their last test: Graduate students across the country told WSJ that they’ve had to find their own workarounds — including borrowing hoods from alum, faculty and friends; using substitute materials like silk scarves; and even sharing hoods during ceremonies by passing them down the line once a grad steps off stage.

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