The Wildcat Thrift: Student Sustainability Efforts



Villanova’s Sustainability Committee hosted the annual Wildcat Thrift on Friday, April 28.

Jackie Thomas and Bella Irwin

The annual Wildcat Thrift took place Friday, April 28th outside of the Connelly Center. Despite a torrential downpour, Villanovans showed up to the thrift tent to support the Villanova Sustainability Committee and the vendors by browsing and buying nice, preloved clothing items. 

The Wildcat Thrift displayed a range of clothing from vintage Villanova sweatshirts to Alo yoga pants, giving students the chance to shop trendy clothes in a sustainable fashion. The event was a success, as students gathered around vendor tables, shopping minutes away from their dorms. 

The Wildcat Thrift does more than just provide students the opportunity to shop, but also is a form of student sustainability, which was readily welcomed by Villanovans. 

Sophomore Katie Jandrasits was one of the many Villanovans who attended the Wildcat Thrift. 

“On Friday, I happened to stumble upon the Wildcat Thrift going on behind the Connelly Center and I could not have been more thrilled that I did,” Jandrasits said. “The tent was filled with trendy items that were well-kept and cheap. I walked out of there with new items that I can’t wait to wear and a smile on my face because everyone was so kind and friendly.”

The success of this event shows the popularity of thrifting among our generation, and bodes well for a potential decrease in the primacy of fast fashion. 

Although Shein and Zara seemingly reign supreme, it seems that more and more Gen Z shoppers are looking to implement more second-hand and vintage items into their wardrobes. This is a good trend, considering fast fashion’s harmful effect on the environment. 

Indeed, fast fashion has a massive negative impact on the planet, consuming the second-most water out of any global industry and emitting 10% of all carbon emissions on average, according to the United Nations Environment Program. 

Additionally, the clothing industry is currently among the major contributors to waste in landfills. 

Of course (and unfortunately), this makes sense. After all, the current state of the industry must cater to the ever-shortening trend cycle and attention spans of consumers. 

As new ideas are constantly pushed out to buyers via ads and social media, companies seek to keep up with and even anticipate each and every emerging trend. This business model, while perhaps financially sustainable, is quite the opposite for the environment. 

Thrifting, on the other hand, is good for the environment, remedying many of the detriments of fast fashion and buying clothing firsthand. 

By keeping clothes in circulation, less waste is going into landfills and there is less demand to produce new clothing and drain valuable resources, like water, used in clothing production. Eco-friendly, sustainable, while also featuring cool clothes not often found in brand stores? Wildcat Thrift does it all. 

Junior Erin Costa occupied one of the booths at the Wildcat Thrift. 

“It was great seeing so many organizations and students showing up to the Wildcat Thrift,” Costa said. “It felt nice knowing that people wanted to shop sustainably and support campus groups such as the Student Sustainability Committee and the Geography and the Environment Student Association.”

Importantly, however, there are legitimate concerns surrounding affordability with this issue. For all the damage it does, fast fashion does provide an accessible, affordable way to get clothes that are on trend. While this may be true, thrift shops and second-hand stores can also be affordable options in that regard. Heightened prices are a potential issue, especially with the rise in thrifted fashion in recent years, but public scrutiny and lesser known stores help this be less of a problem.

Thrifting is a classic way to act according to the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto we have heard for years. A simple yet valuable way to do our part for the environment, and look good while doing it. 

The Wildcat Thrift is an important outlet for students to participate in this win-win situation.