From Rags to Rainbows: An Inclusive Thrift Store 

Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer

Hunt Union Square has opened an inclusive thrift store. The store was there from 5-9 pm and had information on sustainable thrifting. The thrift shop was designed to give students access to affordable gender-affirming clothing and accessories. 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 store had a wide range of clothes and they were spread out in a way that made it easy for customers to browse. 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. In the store, the lights were dimmed which gave the room a calming atmosphere to help customers feel relaxed while they shopped. The information on sustainable thrifting was on a poster board on a table with other items. 

The customers who went to the thrift store seemed to be relaxed, happy, and having fun. Some seemed to especially enjoy the various showcases throughout the evening. The showcases helped attendees with fashion, makeup, and DIY tips and tricks for those who want to learn more about those things. The students had a blast in the store. 

The pay-what-you-can is exactly that. Items had suggested prices on them but you could pay what you could afford. This was a great way to make an accessible event even more accessible. The groups and offices who organized this event wanted students to be able to find clothing and accessories that made them feel good and confident without having to break the bank to do so. 

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 to spread awareness. Students who have a hard time finding gender-affirming clothing were given an opportunity to find some in a place that is familiar to them and safe. 

Students who went and shopped were able to shop without worrying about being judged by a stranger in public or feeling uncomfortable. At the store, they were shopping with their peers and not in a super public place. It was an experience that allowed students to have more control over their surroundings when looking for gender-affirming clothes or accessories. Not to mention that the store saved students a bus ride or two to be able to shop for clothes and accessories. The event was accessible to those who maybe don’t enjoy riding the bus but need gender-affirming clothing. The 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. So, if this event comes back go and have fun shopping for affordable clothes that make you feel like you.

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