From Rags to Rainbows: An Inclusive Thrift Store 

SUNY Oneonta

Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer 

On Thursday, Nov. 16, in Hunt Union Square an inclusive thrift store opened, designed to give students access to affordable gender-affirming clothing and accessories. The store was there from 5-9 pm and had information on sustainable thrifting. It was cash only and a pay what you can store making the shop even more accessible. The proceeds from the store went to a SUNY Oneonta scholarship that promotes sustainability. 

The event was a collaborative effort between the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Office of Sustainability, Red Closet Thrift Shop, and The Revival of Apparel Club. When the store opened, a wide range of clothes were laid out to make it easy for customers to browse. Their lights also were dimmed to give the room a calming atmosphere to help customers feel relaxed while they shopped. 

The customers who went to the thrift store were excited to browse in the shop and have fun picking out clothes. Some even seemed to enjoy the various showcases throughout the evening. The showcases helped attendees with fashion, makeup, DIY tips, and play tricks for those who wanted to learn more about thrifting shops. 

Our clubs organized this event with the purpose of helping students explore a different variety of shopping and possibilities. Thrift shop clothing and accessories can help them feel good and confident in their fashion. The items at the thrift shop weren’t expensive compared to shopping clothing to make it easier for customers to purchase. Another great way to make this event standout. 

This event is one of many events at SUNY Oneonta that has promoted inclusivity and sustainability. Not only did they use the event to help students but they also used it to spread awareness. Students who have a hard time finding gender-affirming clothing were given an opportunity to find them and more in their Oneonta community. 

Students who went and shopped were able to shop without worrying about being judged by a stranger in public or feeling uncomfortable. From Rags to Rainbows: An Inclusive Thrift Store has shown shoppers that our school doesn’t judge them from the clothes they’re wearing. It was an experience that allowed students to feel comfortable and secure in their fashion taste in gender-affirming clothes or accessories. Not to mention that the store saved students a bus ride or two to be able to shop for that day.

From Rags to Rainbows: An Inclusive Thrift Store has also opened the doors to possibilities of events in the future that surround more inclusive gender-affirming clothes. This event ensured that every student had an opportunity to get something that would help them feel like themselves. It would be great to see this event come back in the future to give students who weren’t able to go a chance to go and shop. If this event should come back students are invited to go and have fun shopping with a friend. It’s a time for you and them to really put yourself out there.

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