The Thrifty Tiger is back to bring DePauw students ethical clothing options after their grand re-opening on March 3 following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The Thrifty Tiger is an on-campus thrift store where students can buy gently used items and donate their wardrobe to help ease clothing waste on DePauw’s campus.
The store is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4-6, and Thursday’s from 3-6 located in the basement of Mason Hall. All on-campus student ID’s allow swipe access into Mason during these hours.
Maggie Keller, The working group leader/store manager for the Thrifty Tiger, said that the Thrifty Tiger is a part of the student-run Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP) on campus, with the aim of providing students with affordable clothing options while also reducing waste that the community produces.
“We work with community partners by giving donations, and then a lot of our proceeds go to Putnam County family shelters and women’s shelters,” Keller said.
She said that the SLP is going through a major technical shift, since the program has recently transitioned from a group to its store location in the basement of Mason. In regards to student involvement in the program, it is a work-study job where students must apply, but student volunteers are always accepted.
“We do a lot of events in the community like new member service for Greek houses where students will come in and help with the store, but as far as management and operations, we do an application process for that,” Keller said.
Keller said that there are donation boxes all around campus. There is one in front of Mason, the Hartman center, and the Union Building. Students can also bring donations to the store during store hours.
Claudia Servaes, an intern for Thrifty Tiger, said that “So far, we have provided clothes for the upcycling groups, provided free clothes to students in need through the Compton Center, and promoted Earth Month with the Sustainability Leadership Program.”
She said that Thrifty Tiger has helped to reduce waste from clothing and clear up clutter in students' rooms by providing them with a nearby place to dispose of clothing.
“Shopping in sustainable ways is so important because it helps reduce the millions of tons of clothes that end up in landfills each year. Sustainable shopping is also a human rights issue, as most large clothing companies rely on unethical labor, violating the rights of children and paying unlivable wages to workers,” Servaes said.
Sarah Tiggleman, also a Thrifty Tiger intern, said that the store is a way for students on campus to think about sustainable shopping.
“So often, we get caught up in the newest trend, and I think the store is a great way to repurpose old clothing and make them new again. Also, the store is a way to provide clothing for students at an affordable price for those who cannot drive to get new clothes or need to buy clothes on a budget,” Tiggleman said.
She said that working for the Thrifty Tiger has made her think more about her own clothing choices and has allowed her to become more conscious when thinking about what she wears and when it's time to donate.
“The utilization of thrift stores like the Thrifty Tiger is a great resource to help me become more conscious of my purchases,” Tiggleman said.
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