Do Goodwill and Thrift

Written by: Abigail Burke
Videography by: Cole Scott

It’s a trending hobby, costs only a few bucks and it helps save the planet.

This fun little pastime picked up by the iGen is known as “thrifting” – Goodwill, Plato’s Closet and re-sale shops have never been happier than now. However, do college students know that buying used threads could help save Earth? Bellarmine students do.

Junior Emma Scott works at Plato’s Closet resale shop and advocates for its policy of buying clothes from customers and then putting the items back on the racks to re-sell.

“I would encourage college students to definitely try thrifting, especially at Plato’s Closet, just because we do give you money for your clothes on the spot and because it does cut down on manufacturing,” Scott said. “It just limits the production of clothes that is just not needed.”

Thrift shopping is saving the planet in baby steps and while doing so, changing old styles into new fashion statements. Thrifting provides the opportunity to boycott mass production and textile manufacturing. Clothing production uses natural resources and energy, which ultimately contributes to energy pollution.

“It’s the idea that you’re not making anything new. You’re not taking water to create more thread. You’re not contributing to energy pollution because factories making these mass productions have to keep the lights on,” junior Grace Edelen said. “It is less CO2(carbon dioxide), levels, it is water conservation, it is all sorts of stuff that just contribute to a healthier earth, and you get to look cute while you’re doing it.”

Elizabeth Lonneman, who is active in student government and the environmental committee, contributed in the making of a pop-up thrift shop on Bellarmine’s campus earlier this semester that allowed for students to bring in used clothes for other students to take for free. A true call to action of reuse, reduce and recycle.

“We thought this would be a fun idea, a fun activity, and it also raises awareness about fast fashion and textile waste which are really big problems,” Lonneman said. “By thrifting clothes you’re not buying something that was made new and so you’re reducing your consumption by reusing.”

The pop-up thrift shop will happen again in the spring semester to help bring further awareness to Bellarmine college students about mass textile waste and to help student budgets.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that landfills received 11.2 million tons of textiles in 2017, or 8% of all municipal solid waste landfilled, according to the EPA’s website.

Thrifting not only saves textiles from going to a landfill but also saves energy. According to, it takes 713 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make one T-shirt.

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