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CCU Atheneum: Shoppers check out the wares at CCU's Pop-Up Thrift Shop in the rotunda of the Lib Jackson Student Union.
Shoppers check out the wares at CCU's Pop-Up Thrift Shop in the rotunda of the Lib Jackson Student Union.

Sustain Coastal proves shopping can be thrifty

by Rebecca Cwalina
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Looking for clothes to wear for an internship? How about a teal shirt for Teal Tuesday? Do you have too many books and need to get rid of some of them? The Pop-Up Thrift Shop at Coastal Carolina University may be exactly what you are looking for.

Sponsored by the TD Campus and Community Sustainability Initiative, the Pop-Up Thrift Shop made its campus debut on Jan. 20, raising more than $200 on its first day. Jennifer Sellers, sustainability coordinator, and her team of student Eco-Rep leaders came up with the idea for the thrift shop through research and observation of other universities and sustainability programs.

Sellers and her student workers believe the new event will not only benefit sustainability, but will help increase the CCU community’s interest in the environment as well. It gives a fresh (and fashionable) feel to recycling.

“An event like this makes people think about Earth in a different way,” said Shelby Farmer, campus Eco-Rep leader. “It’s not just about recycling cans.”

The phrase “reduce, reuse and recycle” is often associated with bottles, cans and paper that you can throw in your recycling bin. However, there are other types of reusable items. Instead of buying new clothes, people can buy gently used clothes from the shop to help recycle.

“I think a thrift shop is a model of sustainability in showcasing the three pillars: environment, social and economic,” Sellers said. “Not only do you give used clothes a second chance at life and keep them out of the landfill, but you also bring together the community and offer interesting items for sale at really good affordable prices.”

The Pop-Up Thrift Shop sells many items at two for $1, including books and CDs. The most expensive items are priced at $10, which include brand-name clothing, coats and jackets, and dress clothes.

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to shop on the days the Pop-Up Thrift Shop is open and are encouraged to donate items as well. Items that are accepted include shirts, pants, CCU gear, dresses, skirts, shoes, household goods, books and accessories, such as jewelry, purses, hats, etc. Sustain Coastal offers coupons to the Pop-Up Thrift Shop for donating items. You can contact Sellers about donating at or call 843-349-5041. You can also bring your donations to the sustainability office at Facilities Planning and Management, Building 2.

If you missed January’s Pop-Up Thrift Shop, you still have your chance to catch it once a month. The Eco-Rep leaders will set up shop again on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and Wednesday, March 16, in the Student Center Rotunda. On Wednesday, April 20, the Pop-Up Thrift Shop will be open on Prince Lawn as part of the Earth Fair. Items will vary from sale to sale, and the price list is available at the event. All sales are cash only.

With the money collected, the members of Sustain Coastal hope to start an endowed scholarship for sustainability students in the next year or two.

“Our vision for the future is to create a permanent reuse shop on campus that offers clothing shoes etc., but also household items and school supplies as well,” Sellers said.


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