ReUse Room Brings Thrift Shopping to Campus
The ReUse Room, L&C’s sustainable thrift shop, enables students to donate goods and shop for free clothes, housing and school supplies, shelf-stable food, and more!
by Tara Elsa BA ’26
Lewis & Clark students can now take advantage of the popular thrift store shopping trend without leaving the undergraduate campus. The ReUse Room, L&C’s sustainable thrift shop, enables students to donate goods as well as shop for FREE clothes, housing and school supplies, shelf-stable food, and more!
Thrift shopping is not only fun—it’s also environmentally friendly. It helps keep clothes and other items out of landfills while reducing carbon emissions and preserving natural resources. In these ways, the ReUse Room is a great fit with Lewis & Clark’s commitment to sustainability.
international affairs major, who is the shop’s student coordinator. The goal of the ReUse Room is “to decrease our carbon footprint and honor what the school says about being a sustainable campus in Portland.”“We are at a school that talks a lot about sustainability, so it makes sense that we have this kind of space,” says Sophia Kingsbury BA ’24, an
Earlier iterations of the ReUse Room were piloted on the graduate school campus. As part of the Fowler Student Center renovation on the undergraduate campus, a new larger sustainability office opened last fall, and the ReUse Room moved into Fowler 263 (next to Council Chamber).
During spring semester, the ReUse Room has been open on Fridays, from noon to 3 p.m. “I try to create a safe space for people to come,” Kingsbury says. “I think the idea of just having a free space is astonishing to people. It’s fun to see people finding things they love.”
The ReUse Room has also been hosting special collaborative events, such as the Career Center, the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, and the Office of Sustainability. The idea is to provide students with free professional attire in order to be better prepared for job interviews and life after L&C. In addition, the ReUse Room worked with the Campus Activities Board to celebrate Earth Day with a buffet of vegetarian food during thrift shop hours.Dress to Impress Clothing Collective event this spring. The event was developed as a collaboration between the
As students pack for their summer away from campus, they are encouraged to participate in Green Moveout by donating any clothing and household items in good condition. There will be donation bins located near most residential halls and a donation/swap event in Tamarack on May 4 and 5.
If a student has trouble finding a drop-off location on campus or has questions about what can be donated, they are encouraged to contact Sustainability Director Amy Dvorak at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any extra items that can’t fit into the limited storage space will be donated to community organizations to prevent waste.
Donations can include, but are not limited to, clean clothes, shoes (in good condition), food with a long shelf life (e.g., canned items, peanut butter, protein bars, ramen, and dried pasta), books, binders, other school materials, art supplies, jewelry, and small lamps. Any broken, torn, stained, or nonfunctional items should be placed in the trash with the exception of electronic waste which can be recycled at IT or in Tamarack on May 4 and 5.
“We’re trying to divert things from landfills and pass them on to different organizations in Portland,” says Kingsbury. “It’s a way to give back to our community.”