Pop Up Thrift Shop Inspires Students With One-Of-A-Kind Items
At the entrance of the building, two girls holding hand sanitizer greet shoppers before they walk into a room filled with dozens of mask-wearing individuals congregating around racks.
On these racks, repurposed clothing items ranging from blouses to pants, all with different materials such as corduroy, denim and tie-dye, hang ready for purchase. The shoppers navigate through each rack, picking out their favorite items, asking for the prices, paying the thrift vendor and repeating the process with the next shop.
This was the scene at the thrifting pop up on Feb. 20 organized by Victoria McCoy, a junior at Liberty, featuring five thrift vendors selling their items to the public.
Thrifting has become increasingly popular over the years, and McCoy found a way to share it with Liberty students through her thrift brand Thrift 101. She loves helping students learn how to thrift and design their personal styles.
“Don’t knock it till you try it,” McCoy said. “Thrifting is such an incredible way to find your own style and find fashion that you love and find fashion that is sustainable and ethical.”
McCoy explained how thrifting is great for college students because it is cheap clothing and flexible to fit your fashion needs.
Upcycled Goods, a thrift flip brand that revamps new and used items, was another vendor at the pop up. Reagan Doise started Upcycled Goods in her Commons 3 dorm room, using the shower to tie-dye and bleach different articles of clothing, revamping their appearance.
Doise said she was inspired by thrifting because it was a way she could express herself and her art. She said she loves to stand out and thrifting provides an avenue for her to do so. Owning her own brand has allowed her to take her style and designs out of her dorm room to inspire customers at pop ups and tables.
“Never be afraid to stand out,” Doise said. “If you feel good in something, wear it. It does not matter what other people think of you. If you feel confident in it and you love it on you, then wear it.”
A common practice of thrift vendors is restoring, recycling and reselling clothes, articles and accessories that they find at thrift stores. Once they find clothing they like, they repurpose them to fit the aesthetic of their brand. This could vary from altering pieces to bleaching them.
The pop up provided more than a venue for the thrift vendors. It also supported the local organization Freedom 424, an anti-human trafficking group in the Lynchburg area. They have six domestic partners and three internationals, and do a lot of vocational training to help men, women and children who have been trafficked or are currently being trafficked.
McCoy is currently the president of the Freedom 424 club and was an intern during her sophomore year. All table fees from the Feb. 20 event were donated to Freedom 424. According to McCoy, Freedom 424 is an incredible organization that has made a huge impact on modern day slavery.
Her aim for the event was to combine her passions of activism and fashion to show what community is all about.
“I really wanted to draw home that this was more than thrifting,” McCoy said. “It’s about building community and using thrifting for something that I love: to give back.”
Peyton MacKenzie is a Feature Reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @peytmack.