Students at the University of Connecticut are looking to start their own thrift store on campus. UConnsign is a new project that aims to bring thrifting to Storrs, either in the form of pop-up shops or a permanent thrift store.
Caitlin Daddona, a fourth-semester environmental studies major, is one of the leaders of the project. She said the project began in one of her classes.
“The idea started out of my sociology class,” Daddona said. From there, a team grew around the project.
“We have a group of 10 that’s been meeting since early February,” Daddona said.
Daddona said she wanted to address the feeling of hopelessness a lot of students experience in the face of climate change.
Daddona said, “I’m an EcoHusky, so I was having these conversations about sustainability on campus. Really, it’s just the frustration that a lot of students feel where you hear about all these issues going on, and you’re like, ‘what do we do with it’. So we’re just trying to make something that’s logistically feasible, that’s suited to people on a college campus.”
Daddona explained that she specifically was interested in this project because of her passion for thrifting.
“I’ve always loved thrifting. I’ve bounced around majors a lot before I got to environmental studies, so I understand that this is something that works for people who aren’t solely environmentally focused,” Daddona said.
The project is still in the early stages right now, Daddona said, but she’s hopeful about the future.
“We’re in the planning process. We’re trying to build student interest right now,” Daddona said.
Daddona said that nearly 200 students have responded to the student interest survey about the thrift store.
An on-campus thrift store would increase the amount of clothing options around the university, Daddona explained.
“There’s so many benefits. Any student can attest to the fact there are limited clothing options around here,” Daddona said.
Daddona said another reason for a thrift store is its positive impact on the environment.
“In terms of sustainability, we talked about this as protecting the earth. Clothing is a huge source of not only pollution, but also water waste. A lot of water is used to produce clothing and textiles,” Daddona said.
Daddona said that she and the rest of the students on the project are looking forward to where this project goes next.
“We want this to be something that unites all students,” Daddona said. “We want it to be a fun empowering thing for students who like clothing.”
Grace McFadden is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.