Two [Brown University] undergraduates have teamed up to create Brown’s first student-run thrift store, providing an outlet for students to donate, exchange and buy used goods. The Vault, which opened two weeks ago, was started by Hannah Winkler ‘13 and Tara Noble ‘12.5 in the hopes of providing various environmentally friendly ways for the community to handle unwanted items.
There are three components to the Vault — a thrift store, an item exchange and a workshop. The thrift store currently sells clothes, jewelry, books and other accessories donated by students, and Winkler said she also hopes to offer housewares in the future. For the item exchange, Brown students can bring in their unwanted clothing or other items to receive store credit for other goods in the thrift store.
The Vault is also unique in that it offers various workshops that align with Winkler and Noble’s goal of upcycling, a process that converts old or useless materials into items that have more value and a positive environmental impact.
The Vault offered a T-shirt workshop Monday in Salomon, where students could bring in used clothing and upcycle them into other items, such as bags or wristbands. Noble said other workshops are also planned for the future, on papermaking, repair-and-mending and seasonal workshops.
Would love to see student-entrepreneurs launch similar ventures on or near other college campuses.
Starwood Hotels, whose brands include St. Regis, W, Westin, and Sheraton. The company has joined forces with Orlando-based Clean the World to collect and recycle soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other fragrant unguents distributed to guests in as many as 500 Starwood hotels in North America.
This marks the first corporate agreement for the two-year-old nonprofit organization, which distributes recycled soap and hygiene products to children and families in regions with high rates of acute respiratory infection and diarrheal diseases, the top two killers of children worldwide.
Clean the World estimates that the partnership with Starwood may result in the recycling 1.6 million pounds of hotel soap. Meanwhile, as much as 2.8 million pounds of Starwood hotel waste may be diverted from landfills. Ready to pitch in? Clean the World offers step-by-step instructions on how to hold your own soap drive.