The LU Thrift Store in Hiett room 105. Photo by Alana Melvin.
The LU Thrift Store opened on Thursday, May 26, at 9 a.m. in Hiett Hall Room 105. This student-run initiative allows students to donate and take clothes, electronic items, books and small appliances at no cost.
According to sophomore LJ Jensen, the founder and manager of the LU Thrift Store, the inspiration to open a permanent on-campus thrift store came from the success of Greenfire’s Thrift-A-Palooza event on Friday, April 8. While many of the thrift store employees are also Greenfire members, the thrift store is not affiliated with Greenfire or any student organizations but is fully funded by the LUCC Sustainability Committee’s Environmental Fund.
Jensen has hired three employees to help her maintain the thrift store. Since everything is free, they don’t need cashiers, so the employees will be dedicated to picking up donations and keeping the space clean, stocked and organized.
Sophomore Bella Goland decided to start working at the thrift store after participating in Thrift-A-Palooza. As an active member of Greenfire, she hopes the thrift store will help make Lawrence a greener campus.
“I couldn’t wait to help,” said Goland. “This amazing idea is just the start of our mark of sustainability on this campus.”
LU Thrift Store employees have placed donation boxes in the lobbies of most residence halls, where students can drop off clothes they no longer need or want. While there aren’t any bins in the group houses on the Quad or in the small group houses, residents in these buildings can leave their donations in the collection bins at neighboring dorms. Students can also bring their donations directly to the thrift store when it opens.
Jensen says that donations have been pouring in.
“People have already donated boxes and boxes of clothes, so there’s not going to be any shortage of clothing there,” she said. “But we still, of course, can always use more.”
The thrift store is mostly seeking clothing, but it will also accept books, as well as small appliances like mini fridges. As a safety precaution, students must sign a waiver before taking electronic goods. Jensen also requests that clothing should be washed before donation but still advises students to wash thrifted items before wearing them. The thrift store is located near the Hiett laundry room and a public restroom, where students can try on clothes.
Jensen sees the LU Thrift Store as a long-term sustainability project that aims to reduce waste, alleviate financial stress and provide a convenient place for exchanging goods.
“We want it to go throughout the years and help students in need, especially low-income students and international students.”
The thrift store is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the academic year. It will close for the summer on Thursday, June 8 but will likely reopen during the first week of Fall Term. Jensen stated that she wishes to provide consistent hours to increase accessibility, especially for students with busy schedules.
Students can follow the thrift store’s Instagram page at @luthriftstorelu for updates or direct questions to email@example.com.