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Exploring the for-Carls-by-Carls thrift scene

Timeworn

Timeworn is a pandemic dream-turned-reality for Isabella Zerwas ’25 and her good friend, Luke Burney. Armed with a passion for sustainable consumption, love of fashion and some unexpected free time, the two curated vintage and secondhand clothing through bulk buys on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, as well as donations from friends and family. After finding a month-to-month retail space in Zerwas’ native St. Paul, the two opened a physical shop from December 2020 to June 2021, splitting working hours between the two of them. 

When it came time to leave for college, Zerwas and Burney sold the store, but Zerwas decided to bring the spirit of Timeworn down to Northfield. Her parents own a local auto shop with a spare garage stall, Zerwas spent the summer driving down inventory and transforming the space into Timeworn 2.0. After a few weeks of settling into Carleton—occasionally setting off on a 20-minute bike ride to check on the space,  Zerwas is ready to open shop.

“I’m hoping to eventually partner with a charity, to give part of the proceeds to them,” shared Zerwas. “That’s the whole point of a thrift store: to be able to help others.”

HOW TO BUY:

Visit Timeworn’s grand opening this Saturday, October 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m! Take the Express Bus to Target/Cub and cross the street. Refer to Instagram (@timewornmsp) for future hours. Or browse their Depop shop (@timewornmsp)!

CSA Thrift Shop

When CSA eliminated laundry fees in Fall 2019, they alleviated a financial burden that disproportionately affected the student body. At the same time, a huge source of revenue—one typically allocated to funding Student Organizations—was lost. For Budget Committee, it then became important to develop avenues to financially sustain CSA. According to former CSA President Andrew Farias ’21, hosting a thrift store seemed like a feasible option given Carls’ love of thrifting clothes. 

“The sustainability aspect was important, too,” stated Farias. “Not having students go buy brand-new clothes, and knowing that there is plenty of used, locally-owned clothing available.”

Last spring, CSA asked the Carleton community to donate clothes for its first-ever thrift shop. The community delivered, to the point where CSA had to ask students to stop donating. The clothing was stored in the Chapel basement over the summer, and CSA Executives and Senators have spent the start of Fall Term sorting through donations.

“You can expect to walk into the Great Hall and find sorted racks of clothes—a pretty legitimate pop-up shop,” said CSA President Molly Zuckerman ’22. She also emphasized that any money made from the sale goes directly into the pool for Spring Allocations. 

HOW TO BUY:

Browse the inventory of the inaugural CSA Thrift Store this weekend, October 2 to October 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Great Hall. 

Lighten Up!

Carleton’s “zero-waste move-out sale,” Lighten Up, has been running for almost two decades as a collaboration between the Sustainability Office and the Center for Civic and Community Engagement (CCCE). The sale collects items—from furniture to kitchenware to clothing—that Carls leave behind when they move out for the summer. In pre-pandemic years, the sale was held annually at Laird Stadium after Reunion weekend and attracted shoppers from all over southern Minnesota and even the greater Midwest.

During pandemic times, the sale adjusted by selling online, doing a pop-up at the Northfield Community Church and donating items to specific communities, according to CCCE Fellow Tali Emlen ’22. For the first time, Lighten Up items—specifically college essentials like lamps and hangers that students buy and leave behind year after year—were stored over the summer and sold specifically to first-year students in the fall.  According to Erica Zweiful, CCCE Assistant Director for Community Impact, creating this form of “circular economy” is a growing goal for Lighten Up.

All the proceeds from Lighten Up are directed to the CCCE’s  community partners: Northfield Union of Youth, Project Friendship and Special Olympics.

HOW TO BUY:

Lighten-Up will host their next pop-up, a Halloween-themed one with decor, costumes and more, in mid-October. Keep an eye out for emails about the specific date and time.

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