“Clothing can tell a story and that is something we often forget in the whirlwind of consumerism,” says Meghan Hayden, Executive Director of Cornell Thrift, when asked about the unexpected things that she learned through reuse, “There are so many ways to reuse used goods.”
Cornell Thrift is an organization that seeks to reduce campus-wide waste by redistributing reusable items, including clothes, homeware, electronics, and small furniture. Its members are drawn to thrifting for many reasons, ranging from sustainability to cost efficiency to fashion, and sees it as a fun and accessible way to reduce the waste generated by fast fashion and the clothing industry.
CU Thrift has engaged in many new initiatives, such as their “free to give, free to take” wardrobe in Cornell’s Becker Hall. Meghan explains, “These wardrobes serve as self-contained exchange venues where community members are encouraged to drop off clothes they no longer want as well as thrift through the items there.”
Regarding recommendations for thrifting, Meghan quips, “Often one must be patient for the best finds, but simply by getting out there and taking a chance on a thrift store over a conventional for-profit, you'll likely benefit, as will the community and the environment.”
Her best find is a fluffy LL Bean fleece jacket at a thrift store downtown that has helped her through many chilly Ithaca days, but she also got a Carly Simon album last year at one of the stores during the Treasure Hunt that she really enjoys.
As a team, they were able to explore almost every participating store in the Treasure Hunt on the Reuse Trail, and she enjoys understanding the history of many of the unique items!
(by Sarah Huang, GYGB intern)