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Sustainable thrifting is a hit on campus

(Photo courtesy of Billy Lefebvre) “Students pack UCrossing to search through the thrift day items”

Nate Coady
Connector Editor

On Friday March 22 the Student Society for Sustainability (SSS) organized its fourth thrift day at UCrossing. Thrifting has become popularized in recent years, especially among college aged people trying to find good fashion for a small price. Students are after not only the price, but the thrill of sorting through racks until that one piece catches the eye. Whether that be a designer jacket, a local high school’s club soccer team shirt, or maybe even Homer Simpson themed pajamas, the allure of random ridiculous finds has helped the trend of thrifting persist for a few years now.  

Clothes at this event were free to those who came, so students flocked to UCrossing by the dozen. SSS member Billy Lefebvre travelled along with other students with the Rist Institute for Sustainability to Dubai a few months ago for COP28, a climate change summit. He also helped organize the thrift day and according to him, “Turnout for this year, I think, is the most we’ve ever had clothing-wise and student-wise. We ended up partnering up with some of the departments, some of the fraternities and sororities on campus to have several points of collection… we also have a lot more marketing through the university itself.” 

At 2:30 there were racks and tables full of clothes and by 3:00 they were stripped bare as students packed UCrossing. “We probably had around five hundred garments give or take. Now I’d say one hundred to two hundred… ransacked,” says Lefebvre. The goal, which was undoubtedly achieved based on the turnout, was to provide an alternative to buying new clothes and throwing out old clothes, which has historically filled up landfills. Lefebvre says, “Last year we had a study done on our thrift day and we found that just from our thrift day last year, which was smaller, we helped avoid around eleven-hundred pounds of carbon, which is pretty significant.”  

In sustainable fashion, SSS also tries to get rid of the remaining clothes in ways that guarantee they won’t become landfill elsewhere. Lefebfvre says, “Any of the stuff we do not get rid of, we have a vendor that properly recycles the clothing. We would like to donate, but at times we do not know where those clothes are going to go. So, if we can at least know that they are going to get upcycled into something else or recycled properly it makes us feel a little bit better.”  

The thrift day is SSS’s last big event of the semester. “As of right now we’re kind of winding down for the semester. All of our e-board members are stepping down at the end of this year, opening the way for new e-board members to join,” says Lefebvre. However, SSS does have another trip planned to go to Mahoney’s Garden Center and use university funds to buy plants for students. After that, students will have to wait until next semester’s thrift day to get a chance at that golden find.  



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