Magpie Thrift Store returns to educate and fundraise

Alyssa Villaire

The Warch Campus Center hosted the Magpie Thrift Store for the second time this year to educate Lawrence students about environmentally friendly purchasing practices and to fundraise for local environmental organizations.

The Magpie is a relatively new student organization that operates a three-day long thrift store once a term. It collects and resells gently used clothing and other items in order to raise money for environmental charities.

The Magpie Thrift Store began as a Students Engaged in Global Aid fundraising project within Greenfire. Almost immediately, the Magpie’s volunteers realized that the sales were profitable enough to warrant the Magpie’s recognition by LUCC as a student-run organization independent from Greenfire.

“I’d say the Magpie has been a great success,” said sophomore Chelsea Johnson, a member of the Magpie’s executive board. “We raise nearly 300 dollars every term and we see a lot of people coming through our store and getting our messages.”

For Johnson, a crucial element of the Magpie’s success relies on students understanding its importance. “The goals [of the Magpie] are twofold: education and fundraising,” she said. “For me, the educational aspects of the Magpie are really important, for our clothing industry has a lot of issues with the environment, human rights, and psychological manipulation of people about their body image and self-worth.”

Johnson’s concerns include pesticide runoff from cotton crops and digitally manipulated photographs commonly used in clothing advertisements. “The Magpie is an alternative to that system,” Johnson said, “encouraging thoughtful consumption that doesn’t pollute, doesn’t rely on sweat shops, doesn’t make you spend crazy amounts of money for something the industry then pressures you to replace in less than a year.”

In addition to creating an environmentally friendly market, the Magpie’s second goal is to fundraise. This year, they are fundraising for two organizations: People’s Water and the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust.

There are a couple of unique features about this term’s Magpie sale. “This term, we are featuring different workshop stations at the store each day, all promoting reusing and refurbishing old clothes,” said sophomore Cori Lin, another executive board member of the Magpie. An example of one of these workshops was a station with sewing machines and patches for fixing up old clothing.

Lin encouraged students who are interested in volunteering with the Magpie to get involved. Said Lin, “The Magpie is a blooming organization and any involvement right now can make a great impact. We love any help, from volunteering at the sale to those interested in executive board positions!”

“We’re always open to new ideas,” agreed Johnson.For more information or to get involved with the Magpie Thrift Store, email Hannah Plummer.