Thrifty Thursday Promotes Green Shopping

This year’s first Thrifty Thursday, an event series meant to encourage sustainability on campus through thrift shopping, was held on Jan. 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Price Center Plaza and featured thrift shopping and live music. The event, which was held by the Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs, is estimated to have attracted between 75 and 100 students to the function. 

Thrifty Thursday began last year in Fall Quarter 2013 and at first consisted of sellers from local San Diego thrift stores. The event later changed to feature student vendors for the 2014 Winter and Spring Quarters, and those students who have since participated have been able to keep the funds that they themselves raised.

This year’s first Thrifty Thursday was similarly student oriented. The event was largely advertised by a Facebook page created by Thurgood Marshall College sophomore Moon Thevada, who is majoring in environmental engineering, and was available to any students willing to fill out a vendor form and manage a table.

The event also featured live bands Wasted Days and Odakota, based out of UCSD student-run radio station KSDT. Refreshments were provided by Peet’s Coffee and Tea.

Associated Vice President of Environmental and Social Justice Affairs Sierra Donaldson, a junior from Revelle College majoring in environmental systems, hopes that Thrifty Thursday will promote a culture of sustainability among UCSD students. 

“Buying new clothes uses a lot of materials, energy and water, which we don’t have a lot of right now,” Donaldson told the UCSD Guardian. “When clothes are thrown out, they just become part of the landfill. Instead, you can refresh your wardrobe by thrifting.” 

A total of 14 student vendors sold primarily second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories. Other miscellaneous items, such as video cameras and roller blades, were also available for purchase. 

Muir College junior Lauren Tran, who is majoring in international studies, was among those selling items and told the Guardian that the event was a practical way to put her clothes to use. 

“It’s really useful and really convenient,” Tran told the Guardian. “Otherwise we’d have to sell stuff online or go to a thrift store and sell it. Here, it’s right on campus.”

Besides being economically friendly for students, Donaldson believes that thrifting is a way to reduce our overall consumption. 

“The average lifespan of any given piece of clothing is a year and a half, which is a tragedy,” Donaldson said. “If we bought clothes that lasted and we bought clothes from each other, then we could reduce our energy and material consumption a lot.”

Donaldson hopes that the event will continue next quarter and beyond her term on A.S. Council. Right now she is focused on laying a foundation for her successor.

Donaldson would like to see the event held next quarter in Matthew’s Quad at the same time as the ASCE’s Bear Garden during Earth Week. It is also her aim that future events will experience an increase in vendors, possibly bringing back more from outside thrift stores. 

“Ideally, we would get the number of vendors up and bring in some outside vendors,” Donaldson said. “I would love to have it become more of a fair.”