Chapman students questioning consumerism

Old is gold for Chapman students like Natalia Ventura, sophomore peace studies major, who prefers plucking used clothes from thrift stores to raiding the racks of Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and H&M for the latest fashion trends. Ventura says she is helping the planet while saving money.

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Valentina Pagliari lounging with an impressive collection of her thrifted clothing. Photo by Torian Mylott.

Sustainable shopping is consuming consciously: only buying what you need in ways that minimize one’s carbon footprint, and supporting businesses that treat and pay employees well. While sustainable shopping may involve paying premium prices to designers and companies that go to great lengths to make sure their workers are well paid, it can also involve buying on the secondary market – thrifting, in other words – and that saves money. Some also swap clothes, loan each other needed items, or raid their parents’ closets for retro items.

Shopping sustainably is “overall a greener and more ethical choice,”  says junior film studies major Kamla Thurtle. Kamla likes to shop for thrifted clothing at Buffalo Exchange, Deelux, and Goodwill.

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Ventura rocking some thrifted patterned pants. Photo courtesy of Natalia Ventura.

Many students are taking their passion for sustainable shopping further, like Ventura and Valentina Pagliari, a junior film studies major, who are starting a new club together called “Chapman Thrifties.” This group will be “a platform for Chapman students to come together and talk about sustainability, for them to become aware of where their clothes are coming from, and to instill more sustainable fashion practices into our students,” says Pagliari. The goal is to create more of a dialogue about clothing and “an awareness about how much our clothes affect the rest of the world,” says Ventura. Some of Ventura’s  favorite ways to sustainably shop are through hand-me-downs, upcycling, trading with friends, and thrifting at places like Casa Teresa.

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Pagliari posing with a vintage purse she purchased at The Orange Antique Mall. Photo by Torian Mylott.

Sustainability has even come to online shopping.

Pagliari created an Instagram page supporting and connecting thrifting enthusiasts through Depop, an online selling platform where anyone can sell or buy clothes. Pagliari’s passion for thrifting and vintage clothing began in high school where she saw other students “curate their own outfits, instead of copying and pasting an outfit from a mannequin,” she said. Pagliari has been adding her own creativity to her wardrobe ever since. She prefers second-hand shopping to buying new, because she wants her style – which she describes as “rock-n-roll chick  from the 70s that had a baby with a 90s hip-hop tomboy queen” – to be unique. Pagliari said she almost always profits from selling her own clothes. “If something is worth money, why not get money for it?” she said.

Inspired to go thrifting? Here are a few options of cheap sustainable shopping in Orange:

Goodwill 849 S. Tustin St. Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Deelux 132 S. Glassell St. Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Assistance League 124 S. Orange St Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Salvation Army 180 S. Tustin St. Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Casa Teresa 234 N. Glassell St Friday-Sunday & Wednesday – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Orange Antique Mall 118 S. Glassell St. Every day 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Torian Mylott

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