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Thrift collective pop-ups return, encourages culture of reciprocity

Lexi Crotty, a junior environmental major, sits behind the table of the thrift collective pop-up in the Bassis Student Center on Feb. 14. Crotty said this Valentine’s pop-up is intended to kick off the beginning of many more pop-up events for the thrift collective. Photo courtesy of Rylee Brown. Image description: Lexi sits behind a purple, pink and white tie-dye table with clothing and resuable items surrounding her.

The Westminster College Environmental Center hosted its first pop-up thrift collective since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the Bassis Student Center. Clothes are purchased on a pay-what-you-will basis and proceeds for the Valentine’s pop-up event went to Under the Umbrella, a new LGBTQ+ bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Clothes can be purchased during regular school hours and the pop-up serves as a way to remind students of its existence, according to Ceci Rigby, environmental justice coordinator for the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement and a senior environmental science major.

Rigby said she was one of the students who started the thrift collective in 2018. She and other students started the thrift collective to discourage adding to the waste stream of fast fashion while creating affordable and accessible ways to thrift shop for Westminster students, according to Rigby.

“[The clothes] are mostly free and we encourage a culture of reciprocity,” Rigby said. “If you take something, consider leaving something. Rather, that’s through the form of a monetary donation or come back and donate your own clothes.” 

Rigby said the Dumke Center also has items such as reusable straws, menstrual cups, bamboo toothbrushes and other sustainable necessities. Students can take these products free but are encouraged to leave a donation, according to Rigby. 

The clothing rack for the pop-up thrift collective showcasesValentine’s-themed clothing in Bassis Student Center Feb. 14. Lexi Crotty, a junior environmental major, said this clothing rack is available for students to shop and explore in the Environmental Center during regular school hours. Photo courtesy of Rylee Brown. Image description: A rack of clothing with shirts and jackets in different colors such as red, black, pink and blue.

Lexi Crotty, a junior environmental major who helped organize the pop-up, said clothes are a big part of what ends up in the landfill and hopes students utilize the thrift collective. 

“Whatever clothes you don’t want you can donate them and also update your wardrobe,” Crotty said.

There is a large white box in Bassis year round where students can drop off clothing that will go to the thrift collective for other students to eventually purchase, according to Crotty. 

Students can also pick up these thrift clothes from the Environmental Center whenever they want, according to Crotty. 

Dylan Richmond, a senior English major, has attended thrift collective pop-ups previously and now.

“I think it was a successful event, I was glad to see a lot of clothes were gone by the end of the day,” Richmond said.

Richmond said she sometimes goes to the thrift shop in the Environmental Center when there isn’t a pop-up event. Richmond said she was able to find a new tank top from the thrift collective a few weeks ago. 

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Rylee Brown(she/hers) is a communication major with a minor in Spanish. She loves spending time with her siblings, playing board games with her fiance, and traveling whenever she can.

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