On 21 September student Juliette Schaffrath opened the Thrift Hub. Here students can choose second-hand clothes and decide what they will pay for them. “It’s not just about fashion and cheap clothes, but also about sustainability.”

The Thrift Hub is located in the Sustainability Hub building next to the new Smitse. Students can come along, choose clothes and pay whatever they feel is right. They haven’t raised much money yet. “Students are shy about taking clothes and deciding what to pay for them.”

Only new clothing

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Second-hand clothes in the Thrift Hub Image credit: Boris Berg

German student Juliette Schaffrath (20, Management of International Social Challenges) often went to second-hand clothes events in Cologne, her hometown. “I noticed that there were far fewer initiatives like this in the Netherlands, even on this trendy campus.” The Sustainability Hub adopted her idea for a second-hand clothes shop and created space for her.

“After a survey among students, I discovered that second-hand clothing is often associated with being old-fashioned and dirty,” says Juliette. “My main goal is now to improve the image of second-hand clothes shops. All the clothes in this shop are as good as new. In the next months I want to work together with some young student designers from the New Fashion Society to display their first unique outfits in the shop! We donate all older or threadbare clothes we receive from students to the Salvation Army.”

Closed sustainability circle

Because the Thrift Hub is not just about fashion and cheap clothing. Sustainability also plays a big role. “After the meat industry, the clothing industry is the most water-intensive industry. So recycling clothes is good for the environment,” Juliette explains.

The proceeds from Thrift Hub go to Dress For Success. This is a charity that helps poor, unemployed people find a nice suit that will boost their chances in a job interview. “This charity uses donated, so second-hand outfits,” says Juliette. “That’s why it fits into our bigger picture of sustainability and metaphorically closes the ‘sustainability circle’.”

The Thrift Hub is not a permanent thing, but will last until at least April 2018. It is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 12.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m.

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Clothing and charity chest Image credit: Boris Berg