ETHS Thrift Shop lowers prices and expands hours



Illustration by Madison McGuire

Kayla Drajpuch, Lila Portis

Every year, ETHS students donate thousands of used clothes and accessories to the ETHS Thrift Shop, a small and colorful pop-up located at the back-right cubicle of the Hub. The shop—sponsored by the Community Service Office and run by student volunteers—donates 100% of its earnings to the Social Work Office, where counselors purchase gift cards that serve as student resources. In addition to supporting student mental health, the Community Service Closet Club also seeks to promote fashion sustainability and accessibility. 

Community Service Coordinator Diana Balitaan, who will facilitate the shop opening on October 17-20th, weighs in.

“There is a push at [ETHS] for sustainability and environmental awareness. We need to understand that we can make our lifestyle changes, especially considering that there is an emphasis on always needing new things. It is very detrimental to our society,” says Balitaan. “If we [believe that] we need more things, [that means] we’re spending more money. We are wasting resources. How can we change our relationship to that? Maybe not everyone in the building sees it this way, but the thrift shop isn’t just environmentally friendly. In small ways, it can be anti-capitalist.”

Nali Patel, a student organizer for the Thrift Shop, explains how thrifting is a cheap, more accessible alternative to capitalist fashion. 

“If you can’t afford to go to nicer stores that are better for the environment, you kind of get stuck going to a fast fashion store, where things aren’t made in the best way. Thrifting is a really good way to get clothes and be environmentally conscious. It’s really cool that we have something at school for kids to do that.” 

Thrifting has become popular with younger generations as a more sustainable way to get clothes, with a bit of vintage flair being an extra bonus. The variety is immense, featuring many sizes, colors and styles. The Thrift Shop also sells essentials that were donated; things like winter jackets that can be beneficial for students who can’t afford to buy a new coat. The Hub is filled with student volunteers sorting clothing to serve their community.

“I think it’s important that everybody has access to clothing that makes them feel confident at school,” Patel says. 

The shop has been a roaring success. Now that every clothing item is $1, it’s easy for Balitaan to estimate how much money the Office has accumulated.
“We’ve probably made $1,000,” they say .”When prices were higher, maybe $3,000.” The shop’s price cuts may be disadvantageous for the Social Work Office, but at the end of the day, accessibility to clothing is the Closet Committee’s top priority. “We’re going to be expanding the thrift shop’s hours,” Balitaan adds, “for volunteers, for students who need downtime and want to go shopping, we’re all working to create a place that allows everyone to be clothed, comfortable and warm.”

Students agree that the shop doesn’t only cover basic needs—the clothing is cute too! 

Junior Kaia Magno, says, “I bought a pair of jeans with Kermit the Frog and Lipton’s tea painted on them. I think the drawings come from the meme. Shout out to whoever painted them! Thank you, I love it!”. 

Magno also acknowledges the closet’s philanthropic motives, saying, “Being able to make a difference uniquely is something I love about the thrift shop.” Magno says the selection this year is much bigger than last.

Patel concurs, saying, “The thrift shop is all stuff that’s been donated from other high schoolers, so the demographic is already there. You don’t have to search really hard to find something that is school appropriate or that you would like.”

Balitaan sums up the club in a few sentences: “It’s an accessible, environmentally friendly project for students, by students. We (The Community Service Office) do it for you.” 

The ETHS Thrift Shop is open October 17-20 in W212 (The Hub).