In Progress

University of Thriftsburgh

A student-run thrift store, the University of Thriftsburgh is a working model of sustainability and encourages students to think about how to reuse and recycle in a whole new light! Buying secondhand clothing reduces textile waste, cuts carbon, and promotes a culture of re-use. Sustainability, social justice, and vintage outfits for all!

Before there was a thrift store on campus, the Pitt student organization Free the Planet hosted an annual clothing exchange event called “Swap-a-palooza”. This event happened for several semesters and allowed students to drop off unwanted clothing and leave with something new. 

In 2013 and 2014, teams of students from Ward Allebach’s course GEOL1333: Sustainability sought to expand the annual Swap-a-palooza event by establishing a permanent location on campus for students to bring unwanted clothing.  An initial event in 2013 collected more than 600 items (which were donated to local fire victims), and the store was approved in concept by the Resident Student Association. This concept was advanced again in 2014 as a campus thrift store, and students collected more than 1,500 student signatures in support of establishing a campus store.

During the following semesters, two students from the original group, Anna Greenberg and Paul Heffernan worked closely with the Office of PittServes, the student organization Enactus, and the Student Office of Sustainability, to plan the store. Anna and Paul wrote the store mission, budget, logistics plan, student employee positions, and promotional materials. Dr. Kathy Humphrey, the then Dean of Students, approved room 111 in the O’Hara Student Center for Thriftsburgh in the late fall of 2014. 

Anna and Paul then worked closely with Misti McKeehen, Erika Ninos, and Kacy McGill to collect clothing in Pitt’s world-record-breaking clothing collection attempt, Give a Thread. The Give A Thread clothing drive lasted for several months and collected over 110,000 individual pieces of clothing for Thriftsburgh, Goodwill, and other community non-profits. 

Thriftsburgh officially opened its doors on March 18, 2015, and has been growing since.

Students are able to take their unwanted used clothing into Thriftsburgh during store hours. Thriftsburgh does not discriminate based on brands, they are just seeking clean, gently used, and fashionable clothing donations. Thriftsburgh even offers students store credit in return for their donations. For every item that Thriftsburgh can accept they will trade you 50% of what they sell for in-store credit. This credit can be exchanged for any item in the store.

The University of Thriftsburgh, the student ran thrift store on campus, is located in the O’Hara Student Center, Room 111, 4024 O’Hara St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Check back for Fall 2022 hours!