How Illinois State University is fighting fast fashion

How Illinois State University is fighting fast fashion

NORMAL — Two applications at Illinois State College are giving college students alternatives to increase the lifetime of their clothes and different objects, with a watch for sustainability.

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Maeve Rattin, a junior, is without doubt one of the scholar employees who handle the Share Store, which lets faculty college students drop in and “buy” donated garments and objects without spending a dime.

“Students come in and such and have questions. The first is always, ‘It’s all free?’” she mentioned.

Retailer supervisor Maeve Rattin arranges garments at Illinois State College’s Share Store, run by the Workplace of Sustainability, 305 N. Faculty St., Regular. The store is stocked by donations, and college students can take the objects without spending a dime. 

Together with the Share Store, the Workplace of Sustainability holds Repair It Fridays to offer mending service for minor repairs of garments and different cloth objects. Each are positioned within the workplace’s constructing at 305 N. Faculty St., Regular.

Each efforts purpose to divert purchases of recent clothes, serving to to mitigate the environmental impacts of 1 the worst polluting industries on the earth, mentioned Elisabeth Reed, the college’s director of sustainability.

The style business is a serious carbon emitter, contributing to local weather change, by manufacturing and supply powered by fossil fuels. Clothes additionally leads to landfills, and many artificial fibers are usually not biodegradable. 

Dealing with retailer duties, equivalent to rotating seasonal inventory, offers advertising college students like Rattin an opportunity to be taught that aspect of retail, Reed mentioned. College students additionally run the shop’s social media pages.

The Share Store, which opened in April, expands on one other program during which college students may donate objects whereas shifting out of their housing on the finish of the varsity yr. 

“This is kind of continuing this idea throughout the year,” Reed mentioned.

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Illinois State College graduate assistant Hannah Oesch talks in regards to the Repair It Fridays restore store and the way volunteers assist college students by mending clothes and different cloth objects without charge.

Together with clothes, the Share Store accepts donations of home items, textbooks and absolutely anything else faculty college students would possibly discover helpful, mentioned graduate assistant Hannah Oesch.

Proper now, the shop is particularly in want of winter gear, skilled clothes and fundamental house items, Reed mentioned.

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The Workplace of Sustainability Share Store is on the campus of Illinois State College at 305 N. Faculty St., Regular.

The Share Store largely got here collectively by the work of then-senior Avery Spranger, now a graduate scholar finding out political science. She has taken a step again from the store to deal with her research, however agreed in regards to the want for winter clothes donations. Anybody in the neighborhood can donate. 

Spranger grew up visiting thrift shops together with her mom, which fed an curiosity in purchasing secondhand. However she did not have a automotive when she began attending ISU, a hindrance widespread to many faculty college students searching for purchasing choices.

“We can’t encourage that everyone online shop,” she mentioned. “That’s what everyone does, but it’s not sustainable.”

Spranger was a resident assistant for 2 years and concerned in scholar authorities. Her experiences there, and noticing the wealth hole between some college students and others, satisfied her that an on-campus program just like the Share Store may assist. 

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The Share Store accepts donations of clothes and different objects from college students and the neighborhood, after which different college students can take objects they want without spending a dime.

Spranger began speaking with college directors, who directed her to Reed. On the time, the Workplace of Sustainability had been increasing to take up the whole constructing at 305 N. Faculty St. as one other division moved out.

“You don’t need a point of sale system or anything else that makes business hard,” Spranger mentioned of the donation-fueled store. “You just need a space.”

Simply throughout the corridor from the Share Store, the workplace holds Fix It Friday. The trouble is coordinated by Oesch, who’s pursuing a grasp’s in vogue merchandising and design. 

The occasion used to journey to completely different locations across the neighborhood, however now occurs weekly on the Workplace of Sustainability. Repair It Friday is open to college students in addition to neighborhood members. 

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Indicators are positioned within the Illinois State College Workplace of Sustainability Share Store describing the aim of the store and why it is essential to buy there.

The volunteer fixers nonetheless exit into the neighborhood, equivalent to a go to to Crossroads Honest Commerce Items and Items earlier this month. There’s one other pop-up deliberate from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4 on the Regular Exercise and Recreation Heart, 600 E. Willow St.

Anybody can drop off clothes or different cloth objects in want of minor repairs, like stitching on buttons or closing small holes. The individual dropping off the merchandise can fill out a sheet of paper specifying the work they want completed and their contact data, after which choose the merchandise up later.

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The Share Store accepts donations from college students and the neighborhood, after which different college students can take objects they want without spending a dime.

ISU college students who know stitching fundamentals can signal as much as volunteer at

The workplace doesn’t need to take enterprise away from native thrift shops and alteration outlets, Reed mentioned. If neither program can assist with discovering or fixing an merchandise, the workplace affords lists of native companies which may have the ability to assist.

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Coming in every week for Repair It Friday makes it an excellent day for Oesch. 

“It’s always a good, heartwarming thing. I always leave Fix It Friday feeling better than when I came in,” she mentioned.

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