Students can go thrifting on campus with the annual Pop-up Swap Shop opening a permanent location at the Office of Sustainability on Brodhead Avenue.
The Swap Shop’s grand opening was held on Feb. 7.
Fitting only 30 people at a time, the room was overcrowded, and people had to take turns entering and leaving the shop.
“A lot of students came out, donated items for the Swap Shop, also shopped around and were able to find some items that worked for them,” Sustainability Officer Katharine Targett Gross said.
She said this initiative helps to establish a zero-waste lifestyle by eliminating the need for students to buy new products and clothes.
A zero-waste lifestyle is when people stop purchasing disposable items. It discourages a ‘fast fashion’ culture of retailers rapidly producing inexpensive clothes that mimic a current trend.
Eco-Rep Emma Neary, ‘22, said the Swap Shop has the intent of increasing recycling at Lehigh, reducing textile waste and creating a place where students can go to feel like they are making a difference.
“At the Swap Shop, everything is free, so you can either drop stuff off and not take anything, or you can pick stuff up and not bring anything to donate,” Neary said. “We also separate everything by style, not by gender, so that way, it’s inclusive towards everyone.”
Thrifting offers a cheaper, more sustainable alternative for students who are looking for a style that is affordable.
The Pop-Up Swap Shop is run by the Lehigh Eco-Reps, who have been collaborating with the Eco House and the Office of Sustainability to set up the permanent location.
Sophia Mayone, ‘21, Haley Robb, ‘21, and Maria Aguado Lira, ‘21, are the original founders of the pop-up.
Gross said when it was just a pop-up, it was supported by a crowdfunding campaign and took place in different buildings around campus.
It wasn’t until this semester that a permanent location was decided upon and was able to be stocked up with items.
“Usually, they do it every year for Recyclemania,” said Katelyn Marina, ‘22, an Eco-Rep member.
The shop will now be open all year, with a pop-up on Tuesday in Williams Hall that aims to promote awareness for the new location.
The Mending Project, a club that mends clothes and textiles in the community, will also be at the pop-up to alter and repair items that students want to take home.
“You don’t even have to talk to anyone,” Neary said. “You can just go in and help yourself.”
The Swap Shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 516 Brodhead Ave.
The method of operation, “At the Swap Shop, everything is free, so you can either drop stuff off and not take anything, or you can pick stuff up and not bring anything to donate”, is inclusive.
“Neary said. “We also separate everything by style, not by gender, so that way, it’s inclusive towards everyone.” ” It doesn’t make any difference how you separate clothing unless you label it; style tends to have an unwritten label and tends to be exclusive.