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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Clothing Closet teams up with Eco World on campus clothing donation bin

Fresno+State+students+walking+past+a+clothing+and+shoe+donation+bin+near+parking+lot+P20.+%28Carlos+Rene+Castro%2F+The+Collegian%29
Fresno State students walking past a clothing and shoe donation bin near parking lot P20. (Carlos Rene Castro/ The Collegian)

The Clothing Closet and Eco World, a local clothing recycling business, have partnered to establish a clothing donation bin on the corner of Barstow Avenue and Campus Drive.

The Clothing Closet, located in the Career Development Center on the third floor of the University Student Union, is an organization that prepares students for job interviews by providing them with professional wear. Available clothes have been donated and are free for students to take.

Eco World is a company that focuses on sustainability. It operates and maintains green clothing donation bins located throughout the Central Valley. Its purpose is to collect second hand clothes that are donated to local thrift stores to be sold. If clothes are torn or stained, they can become carpet pad underlay or insulation.

The Closet’s bin is designed for students and the community to donate clothes that are no longer needed. The Clothing Closet can then take the clothes it wants, either casual or professional, and offer them to students.

Eco World then weighs the remaining garments and pays the Clothing Closet the amount by check so the Closet can purchase garments it does need, like socks or undergarments.

Jene D’Ambrosio, president of Eco World, said the collaboration between Fresno State and her company is able to provide the Clothing Closet with two options: bringing 100 pounds of clothing from Just Porch-It home pickups and Eco World’s collection warehouse if the Clothing Closet runs low on donations, or the Closet receives a check for clothing that is not needed.

“They actually use the money that’s generated from the check to get the items that they do need that they [the Clothing Closet] purchase brand new for students who go and utilize the Closet. It’s really a win-win for Fresno State,” D’Ambrosio said.

Just Porch It is a service through Eco World that performs home pickups of donated items.

Audrey Munoz, the Clothing Closet coordinator, says that the collaboration between Eco World and the Clothing Closet has been in progress since 2019. Progress for the bins ultimately came to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We weren’t able to really get anything going and in effect until we got back on campus. Then once we got back on campus, there was a whole lot of construction going on,” Munoz said.

Campus construction forced the Clothing Closet to relocate several times, including moving from the Thomas Building to the Satellite Student Union and ultimately to its current location in the USU.

The Clothing Closet currently offers a pick-up donation service where donors can meet with the organization to have their items picked up at the Satellite Student Union. Donors dropping off can call (559) 278-2381 to ensure the Closet has staff to assist in pick-up. Donors also have the option to schedule an appointment with the Closet to drop off their garments. The Clothing Closet’s operating hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The bin serves as an after-hour option for those who can’t donate during the Clothing Closet’s operating hours.

“If it means getting more donors because they can come in the evening or on the weekends, then I’m all for it,” Munoz said about the bin.

Casual clothing that gets donated to the Closet goes to The Clothing Closet’s semesterly event dedicated to providing students with free haircuts and a bundle of casual wear.

D’Ambrosio said that with the addition of the bin on campus, she hopes it encourages students to donate and think more sustainably.

“It’s changing the mindset of what people think is donatable because a lot of times it’s like, ‘Oh, well, I wouldn’t wear it’ and I don’t want to donate it. The reality is, if it can be used, it’s going to be turned into something else [insulation],” D’Ambrosio said.

According to D’Ambrosio and Earth.org, the average U.S. consumer throws away 81.5 pounds of clothes every year.

“You can only imagine how much is being thrown away that’s usable,” she said.

The Clothing Closet will be collaborating with JC Penney on Oct. 1 from 4-6 p.m. to provide students with 50% discounts on professional clothing items. On Oct. 4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the USU, Paul Mitchell cosmetology students will provide free haircuts and the Clothing Closet will do a giveaway of casual clothing.

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