‘Pop-Up Thrift Shop’ Spreads Message of Sustainability

Boston College held its third annual Pop-Up Thrift Shop on Wednesday on Stokes Lawn. The event, which was sponsored by the Undergraduate Government of BC, aimed to raise awareness of sustainability problems within the fashion industry—proceeds and leftover clothes were donated to charities.

“This event has happened every year, so it’s kind of a tradition at this point,” Pia Montanez, MCAS ’21, who helped organize the event, said. “It’s an important event on campus because something that’s often overlooked is how quickly fashion is hurting our earth and the environment and it’s something that we don’t even really think about day to day… it’s a huge contributor to water waste and to human trafficking and all of these things that are harmful.”

The more that we learn about these issues, the more we can help our environment and prevent further destruction, Montanez said.

She said that the location was strategic in a number of ways—not only would students walk by as they went to class, but the outdoor venue also reflected the event’s activist message.

“Especially being on the lawn, just helps to get people to look at it because you can’t avoid it,” she said.

The fact that this event doesn’t raise money for anything specific, but instead focuses on bringing awareness to current issues is key, according to Montanez. The goal is to get people to stop buying high fashion and new clothes that they don’t necessarily need and instead recycle their clothing, as well as buy recycled clothing, she said. 

Montanez pointed to the decisions consumers make as the root of the problem, as shoppers often forget that each individual choice is part of a broader trend.

She noted that while the tables and racks of clothes remained mostly untouched throughout the morning, turnout increased dramatically in the afternoon.

This event has had a lot of success in the past as a reminder for how we need to be more aware of our environmental impact and the decisions we make, Montanez said.. It’s also a special event because BC students are the donors, which makes it even more meaningful.

If you missed the event, don’t worry. It will be back next year with another assortment of trendy, affordable fashion.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor