LC’s ReUse Room given new life with new location

Photo of the reuse room with tables and boxes
Isabelle Atha / The Mossy Log

As part of Lewis & Clark’s efforts toward sustainability, the ReUse Room is an on-campus thrift shop for students to donate and browse clothes, school materials and dorm supplies for free. Located in Templeton 263, next to the Council Chamber, the ReUse Room is open every Friday from 12 to 3 p.m. Students can also drop off items during these times.

Thrifting is a large part of LC and greater Portland culture. It has become an accessible way for students to pass on their unused items and give them a new life. As a campus which prides itself on being sustainable and environmentally conscious, initiatives such as the ReUse Room speak to this mission.

Their online list of acceptable donations includes, but is not limited to “clothing, kitchen utensils, office or school supplies, hampers, fans, desk lamps, decor and books.” Donations which will be refused are torn, broken or stained items, used bed sheets, mattress toppers, dirty items and large furniture.

Sophia Kingsbury ’24 is the student organizer of the ReUse Room. They organize and categorize donated boxes, answer emails and operate the room on Fridays.

“No one realizes it’s there, the idea of free things perplexes students,” Kingsbury said. “I hope it gets more attention now that it’s on the undergrad campus.”

Previously, the ReUse Room was located in the Corbett House on the graduate campus and did not attract a lot of attention. With its move to a more central location, the hope is that more students will make use of this opportunity to donate and shop for new items.

“The only way it works is if people continue to donate,” Kingsbury said. “I’m hoping more people donate because eventually we will run out and the only way this works is if people continue to donate.”

The majority of donated materials that the ReUse room is currently stocked with are from the Stewart and Odell moveout for construction. As the end of the semester draws closer, they are getting ready for the influx of donations that come along with it.

“We’re already starting to gear up for move out,” Kingsbury said.“Thats the next big thing. Stewart and Odell were a lot, but that was only two buildings and now it’s everyone’s battle.”

This type of sustainable action is not unique to LC. Other institutions in Oregon such as Reed College and Linfield University also have versions of on-campus thrift shops.

Kingsbury has tentative plans to create a pop-up thrift event, where students whose schedules do not allow for them to visit during the Friday 12 to 3 p.m. window have the opportunity to browse the donations.

“It takes a lot to get the word out there, it’s a multiple-week planning process but I would love to get one going by the end of the semester,” Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury also said that if students are looking for something in particular that they are welcome to reach out via email and Kingsbury can help them go through the donations.

LC’s commitment to sustainability is exemplified by the mission statement: “Our research and actions extend beyond our campus into the wider world, we build on the best available scholarship and practice in our endeavors, and we recognize the importance and interrelatedness of ecology, economy, and equity.”

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