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First and only thrift store on UBC campus re-opening its doors

Get ready to find yourself a cool, thrifted jacket.
The Get Thrifty Store on the UBC campus re-opens on Sept. 8 with double the retail space than before.

Get Thrifty, UBC’s first and only thrift store, is set to re-open on Friday, Sept. 8.

After a long-winded renovation process, the on-campus store with open its doors for consignment, donations, and general shopping.

The store will be selling used clothes, books, and household decor items. There will also be a system allowing small, local business owners to sell artisan goods at the store. 

Get Thrifty stemmed from a University of British Columbia sustainability student project in 2017.

In early 2020, they set up a physical store on campus. Three weeks after opening, COVID-19 hit and they had to immediately shut down.

At that point, the store opted to build up its online presence and make an online store, Get Thrifty founder Rain Chen told V.I.A.

Renovating the thrift store

After the pandemic, Chen focused on the revamping of the thrift store.

Chen, a former UBC Sustainability employee with a background in architecture, said the renovation gave her the opportunity to merge her two passions together.

"Originally, the store had a few racks, a desk, and a crappy change room," said Chen, who was also a student at UBC.

With the newly expanded store, there is double the retail space, new flooring, new lighting, and new walls.

"There is a massive amount of waste"

Chen believes UBC has a thriving cyclical economy and the thrift store would simply add to that.

"There are a lot of items that students throw out," she pointed out, adding that often those campus locals "don't know what to do with their excess items."

Thrifting offers a place to donate and shop affordably, which can help students on a budget. "Ultimately, students don't have a ton of money and can make use of these cheap items."

What to expect at the re-opening

The store's re-opening on Friday, Sept. 8 will feature items from guest vendors, live music, free food and drinks, a custom photo booth, and Get Thrifty in all its new glory.

The store will accept clothing donations during business hours, with donors receiving $1 of store credit per item, for up to $10 of store credit.

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