The University of Michigan Central Student Government organized a pop-up thrift store in the Kuenzel Room of the Michigan Union over the weekend of March 12. Hundreds of students stopped by to browse a collection of donated clothes and take home free new ‘fits.’
CSG partnered with the National Panhellenic Conference, the Residence Halls Association and the U-M Interfraternity Council to arrange the event. For the past month, CSG has had collection boxes where people could donate their old clothes in residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses and some Ann Arbor apartment buildings.
LSA sophomore Bipasha Ray, CSG chief programming officer and one of the event’s organizers explained the goals of the event to The Michigan Daily.
“The whole point of the event is to increase sustainability, reduce clothing waste and bridge the accessibility gap for clothing,” Ray said.
Ray estimated that CSG collected about 1,000 articles of clothing during the donation period. Ray also said CSG is planning to donate any clothes that were not thrifted by students during the event to For Days, a sustainable fashion business that buys and sells recycled clothing and promotes a circular fashion industry, or an industry in which clothes are reused or turned into new types of textiles from rags to rugs.
“We’ve been collaborating with this company (called For Days),” Ray said. “Any extra clothing that we aren’t able to distribute (is) going to be turned into housing insulation.”
LSA junior Marguerite Courtney, who stopped by the thrift store over the weekend, said she enjoyed the convenience of being able to pick up new-old clothes in the Union.
“I always find it cool when they have like the little thrift store that pops up in the Unions,” Courtney said. “I know a few other groups have done it before. Especially because I noticed, like me as a student, I have a bunch of random clothes I don’t wear anymore, and then it’s also fun to get new stuff.”
LSA sophomore Giana Maniaci, who also attended the event, said she hopes CSG will do another pop-up clothing shop in the future. She said she could see CSG getting more students involved in the future, meaning there would be even more clothes to choose from.
“I think it’d be good to get the word out about it a little bit more just so they get more clothes in, more clothes out,” Maniaci said.
Ray said she looks forward to offering similar events in the future with the support of CSG.
“I feel like oftentimes people don’t really know what (CSG) does,” Ray said. “I think events like this (are) so successful, and so many people are really happy to see these kinds of events and are happy to take part in (them). I think that’s the whole point of student government.”
Daily News Contributor Ryan Kersten can be reached at email@example.com.