As textile waste is a constant global issue, the Riverside Fashion Club decided to take the lead and hold a thrift pop-up to recycle students’ unwanted clothes, and to help prevent abandoned clothes being send to the landfill. The club resold clothes donated by students in their thrift pop-up from November 29 to December 1, 2021.

Boxes were left in the office for two weeks to collect clothes donations.

The club believes that there are people who will be interested in the clothes that others are ready to part with. The concept behind thrifting is that what is ‘old to you, is new to others.’ “Obviously, there are clothes that are not being used in the school community,” said grade 11 Riverside student Ellie Kwak, one of the club leaders. “[We] thought it would be a good idea to collect all the clothes and resell them to other people or re-use them.”

One of the Fashion Club members, grade 11 Riverside student Derrick Mcintosh, also stated that thrifting had become a more popular way for teens to consume clothes, as they are aware of the significant environmental impact of the fashion industry.

During the weeks of collecting clothes, the quantity and quality of donations exceeded the club’s expectations. “There have been people who donated lots of [clothes] that actually haven’t been worn or used,” said Mcintosh.

Fashion Club students washed all the donated clothes before the thrift pop-up.

Seeing this situation, the sponsor teacher of Fashion Club, AJ Vittie, encouraged students to reflect on themselves as consumers. “What are you going to commit to that’s going to reduce your impact? Like, what is your goal, because it is your job,” said Vittie. Environmental impact is not only the responsibility of the government or corporations, but it is also the responsibility of everyone. Practical goals need to be set and achieved.

Vittie also advised students to be more aware of the clothes that they buy. Doing some simple research before purchasing would be recommended. “If it’s an extremely low price and discount, you can probably guarantee that there is something happening in the process to make it that low cost,” said Vittie.

The leftover clothes after the pop-up will not be wasted as the Fashion Club will reuse them in their upcoming ‘Trashion Fashion’ show, or if not utilized there, the clothes will be donated to an actual thrift store.

Although the main purpose of the pop-up is to reduce the environmental impact, it has helped the school community in various ways. Students were able to buy unique clothes at affordable prices, and the club was able to fund-raise for non-profit organizations.