Yisu Zheng / Sun Staff Photographer

Students bought thrifted clothes at the pop-up store on Monday.

March 5, 2019

Cornellians Do ‘Spring Cleaning’ With Cornell Thrift’s Pop-Up Shop, Promoting Affordable, Sustainable Fashion

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Vintage jeans, handmade jewelry and soaps were just a small sampling of the wares on sale yesterday at Spring Cleaning, Cornell Thrift’s pop-up store in Willard Straight Hall.

With over 1,500 RSVP’s on Facebook and 40 participating vendors, student shoppers flocked to Spring Cleaning to peruse second-hand garments and try on potential purchases in blue tent fitting rooms.

The event was a collaboration between three student-led sustainable fashion initiatives: Thrift Reuse Upcycle, KAN Supply and Cornell Thrift, who aimed to make the transition to spring sustainable through thrifting.

“A lot of students are getting rid of items they don’t want anymore,” Cornell Thrift Executive Director Megan Hayden ’19 told The Sun. “The idea of this market is to keep those things in circulation.”

The Spring Cleaning event has been in the works since December, starting as a conversation between Cornell Thrift and KAN Supply. The pair then added Miranda Kasher ’19, owner of Thrift Reuse Upcycle, an Instagram-based thrift store.

Kasher originally started her shop in January to clean out her closet, but soon found herself part of growing movement for sustainable fashion.

“I can’t go a day without being followed by another thrift store,” she said of her Instagram boutique.

“With the advent of technology, we are able to pull elements of fashion from other generations, whereas people weren’t able to do that before. Every generation usually has a style, but we don’t really,” Kasher said.

The sellers at the event ranged from Cornell students to experienced resale vendors, jewelry-makers and knitwear artisans.

“I decided to sell at this event because I love sharing the things I’m interested in with other people,” Keri Heuer ’19 told The Sun. “I’m moving to Cambridge in the summer to work at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, so I’m trying to save up for rent money.”

Cornell Thrift focuses mainly on waste reduction by maintaining “free-to-give, free-to-take” closets for students to exchange clothes with each other. They also host “free piles” or pop-up give-aways of second-hand garments to provide costless access to clothing.

KAN, founded by Kenneth Yeung ’21, seeks to bring “re-upped, vintage NYC style to the streets of Ithaca at an affordable price.” For the Spring Cleaning, Yeung selected clothing from donations from Cornell students as well as from local vintage and thrift stores. All itemswere priced at $1 to $3.

Kasher hosted a separate sale room with over 15 racks of clothing, with all items priced under $30.

“What I’m offering is a very large range. You have different racks for different styles,” Kasher said. “Some are color-schemed, some are nautical, another is like a night in New York City. There’s reds and a cheetah-print pea coat.”

Kasher also said that Thrift Reuse Upcycle has influenced her future aspirations. “The hope is that I go into some sustainable career.” she said. “Thrift Reuse has inspired me to do that. I have sort of come to a revelation that this is what I want to do.”


All surplus clothing and proceeds from the event will be donated to the Fashion Revolution and the Ithaca ReUse Center.