Pasquerilla West Hall hosts thrift event
Claire Reid | Monday, March 22, 2021
The women of Pasquerilla West Hall will host their signature event, PDub’s Closet, virtually on the Instagram page @pdubs.closet from March 22 to April 2.
Clothing will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and students can direct message the Instagram account to purchase an item.
“It’s a crossover between a Plato’s Closet type scheme and just a clothing drive,” junior and PDub’s Closet commissioner Maggie Roop said of the event.
This is the third year that the Purple Weasels will be hosting this event, where the dorm collects clothing donations from members of each dorm and resells them to students thrift-store style for one to five dollars each. The unsold clothing and the proceeds from the event are donated to the South Bend Center for the Homeless.
For the past two years, the thrift-store event has taken place in-person during the warm fall months.
As with nearly every other event on campus this year, extensive changes have been made to PDub’s Closet in order to comply with COVID-19 safety restrictions. Most notably, the thrift-store event is taking place virtually on Instagram.
Selling online allowed the PDub’s Closet team to have a presale week that helped them manage the record amount of clothing donated.
Event commissioner and junior Maria Teel has been working on PDub’s Closet for two years now. She feels that hosting the event online has allowed PDub’s Closet to reach more people and provide an enhanced customer experience.
Teel explained that because each item being sold must be individually photographed and posted on Instagram, PDub’s Closet is able to offer a more curated selection of desirable items than in previous years.
She said that this process has given her and the rest of the PDub’s Closet team the opportunity to really look at each item they are selling and confidently say, “Yes, a college student would buy this.”
The Pdub’s Closet team also capitalized on the online sale format to lengthen the sale.
“We actually just extended our sale period,” Teel added. “It used to be only one week, but we’ve actually bumped it up to two weeks because we have so many great things we want to sell.”
COVID-19 restrictions also required the PDub’s Closet team to adjust the way they gathered donations for this year’s event.
Roop explained that, in years past, “PDub girls sit in the lobbies of different dorms and collect clothes for a couple of hours during the week [of the event].”
This year, they placed donation boxes in every dorm at the beginning of the semester where students could leave clothing they wanted to donate. The donation boxes were collected on March 1.
“We’ve actually managed to collect far more clothes … than we have in years prior … which is really, really exciting because it fuels the mission of PDub’s Closet,” Roop said.
Not all of the clothing collected will be resold to students though. Anything deemed more appropriate to be donated to charity — such as hats, gloves and winter coats — is placed straight into a donation pile to be given to the South Bend Center for the Homeless along with any for-sale items that do not end up being sold.
“We have … over 30 bags of clothing that are going straight to donations,” Pasquerilla West Hall president and sophomore Maura Hogaboom said.
Hogaboom worried that so many donations could be overwhelming to the South Bend Center for the Homeless, so this year, PDub’s Closet is planning to donate clothing to additional organizations as well.
Finding the right organizations to donate to has not been easy. Hogaboom, Roop and Teel want to be certain that the organizations they choose will responsibly recycle any unneeded items.
Roop explained that every donation-based charity organization has a sorting process and probably accepts around half of the donations it receives. At many organizations, the other half of these donations are simply thrown out.
“[We] have to be really careful to find a group that can take [the items] … and actually recycles them,” Roop said.
Teel agrees that it has been difficult to ensure that excess donations are dealt with as sustainably as possible.
“This has been an unprecedented challenge for us, receiving so many pieces of clothing,” Teel said. “It definitely weighs on us to have the responsibility to deal with these textiles … in a mindful way.”
Hogaboom hopes that PDub’s Closet will encourage Notre Dame students to be more aware of their role in the textile industry and that it will encourage them to explore similar sustainable and second-hand ways of purchasing clothing.
“I’m really happy that we can be sort of the intermediary to provide sustainably sourced clothing to other students,” Teel said, echoing Hogaboom’s sentiment. “I think that’s really special and really valuable for our community.”