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Dressing Green: Sustainable clothing in Harrisonburg

Spring is almost here, which means it's time to do some spring cleaning, clean out your closets, and go shopping for new clothes. Shopping for clothes as a college student can be costly, so many students opt to shop at fast fashion stores to save money. However, there are many negative consequences of fast fashion, including environmental damage, worker exploitation, and the overall short lifespan of clothes. Fast fashion is powered by cheap labor used to generate huge profits with low production costs. The cheap materials and micro-trendy styles contribute to fast fashion items' short lifespans, with consumers discarding these purchases by the following season because they are out of style or the quality simply did not last. Sustainable clothing brands that sell new pieces, on the other hand, are typically sold at high prices that are out of reach for college students. This raises the question of where college students should shop if sustainable clothing brands have high prices and fast fashion is harmful. Thrifting is the way to go; Harrisonburg is brimming with amazing thrift stores selling clothing that has stood the test of time in a variety of styles.

SAVE MONEY: Dart Resale and Trade is a local Harrisonburg consignment shop that sells a wide range of affordable modern and vintage items. Their goal is to engage the community in the resale of secondhand clothing. Dart buys items every Tuesday and exchanges them for cash or store credit. When it's time to clean out your closet this spring, consider selling it at Dart or using store credit to buy one-of-a-kind items.

SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY: Gift and Thrift and Tried and True Thrift are two Harrisonburg thrift store recommendations that strive to serve the community by donating profits to local organizations. Mercy House Thrift is another Harrisonburg thrift shop that donates 100% of its profits to Mercy House, a non-profit organization that combats poverty and homelessness in Harrisonburg. Give back to your community this spring by donating your used items.

STUDENT BUSINESS: Maverick Vintage is a great place to find one-of-a-kind and vintage items while also supporting a student-run business. Emma Wiltz, a JMU student, founded Maverick Vintage last year after spending a summer on the west coast and being inspired by the culture surrounding sustainable fashion. "Every piece has a story, and they're all completely unique," Emma explained. Maverick Vintage's message of vintage clothing that fosters creativity, originality, and sustainability has already made an impression on the JMU community. The brand has had several pop-up shops in Harrisonburg over the last year, and their anniversary release is this Saturday from 11 am-1 pm at Magpie Diner.

Save money, protect the environment, and support your community by dressing green!

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