It’s no secret that Faisal Jaswal, the Assistant Dean of Student Programs at Bellevue College, lent his DeLorean to Macklemore, a rapper and musician, for use in the music video for “Thrift Shop.” Students occasionally quote “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got 20 dollars in my pocket,” a memorable line from the song “Thrift Shop” when discussing shopping for clothing.
Last week, on Feb. 20, Mackenzie Williamson, the Environmental and Social Responsibility Representative of the Associated Student Government, collaborated with Jaswal and the Latin American Culture Club to arrange the “New Year, New Wardrobe” clothing exchange. Jaswal called the gathering the “BC Thrift Shop.” Jaswal parked his DeLorean outside the Student Programs building to promote the clothing swap and to store donations, which were brought to the Bellevue Goodwill later that day.
Both Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” and the Sustainability Department’s “New Year, New Wardrobe,” exchange emphasized benefits of searching for bargains and shopping second-hand.
Macklemore says, “I’ll wear your grand-dad’s clothes, I’ll look incredible.” Fashion currently relies on taking old materials and reinventing them for new and younger generations. At BC, the particular focus was on the environmental benefits of reusing clothes. Production, use and disposal of clothing damages the environment and many fashion and textile designers are keen to employ more sustainable strategies in their work. The three R’s of the environment, ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,’ as well as the three legs of sustainability ‘Economics, Ecology and Social Equity’ have now shaped the future of the clothing industry.
The ultimate goal is to create fashion with less waste and greater durability. By reusing items, the source waste can be diverted from ending up in landfills because it delays or avoids that item’s entry in the waste collection and disposal system. The main purpose of the “New Year, New Wardrobe” exchange was to show students that “there a second use for clothes, and second uses for anything. We are trying to get students to reuse rather than get rid of things of and buy new products,” said Williamson.
Natasha Wijoyo, a student volunteer at the “New Year, New Wardrobe,” helped organize clothes into sizes and display everything appropriately. “I thought it was a really unique idea. I’ve never heard of a thrift store at a college. It’s an interesting way to reuse and get new clothes in an environmentally friendly way,” said Wijoyo. Events like this are important parts of Williamson’s role at BC. “I try to keep the ASG informed on all of the Sustainability events in action and give a different insight the student gov’t. I also serve as an outlet for Sustainability students, so that they can get involved in things on campus,” she said.
To be a thrifty, clever student, it’s important to search for bargains, even if they are only of value to the finder. As Macklemore says, “One man’s trash, that’s another man’s come-up.” Keep an eye out for future ASG events on facebook.com/asg.bc. Check out the “Thrift Shop” music video at youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes.