Barn Good Thrift Store

Primary Organization: 
Environmental Action Organization (EAO)
Contact Name: 
Mallory Garretson
Contact E-mail: 
mvgarr11@stlawu.edu
Project Start Date: 
September 1, 2008
Status: 
Ongoing

SLU REUSES - STASH IT- DON'T TRASH IT!

Check back in the fall for our Store Hours

Did you upgrade to a suite and now you need some extra furniture? Don't like those overhead lights in your room and want something with a softer glow? Need to pick up some hangers, binders, mugs or other odds and ends for your new room?

Before you head to any other store...check out the Barn Good Thrift Store, located between 5 and 7 University Avenue.

In 2005 several students teamed up with the Conservation Council and Facilities Operations to create a Reuse Program. A group of hard working, environmentally aware students were responsible for the creation of the original "SLU Reuse Initiative" a program developed to prevent usable items from ending up in the dumpsters when students move out of their dorms at the end of the year.

While the Reuse Initiative started as a spring collection and single large fall sale, with storage of items in a trailer during the summer, interest has grown and the program has expanded.  The Initiative became so popular that it moved from its ephemeral home in first one and then two tractor trailers to the basement of one of the dorms. 

In previous years remaining items were donated to local charities however starting in 2008 the Reuse Initiative transitioned into a year round student run campus thrift store, the ReCellar.  Three students find jobs each semester collecting, cleaning, sorting and selling gently used and working items of furniture, small appliances, electronics, clothing, school supplies, amazing costumes for all your party needs and many other miscellaneous items that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.

With an even greater increase in popularity, all those great gently used items collected when students move out can be found in the Barn between the Java Theme Cottage and the English Department Offices.  This move was made in the Spring and Summer of 2010 with the support of grant money and the kind staff of SLU's Facilities Operations Department.  With a fresh coat of paint, the installation of an energy efficient washing machine and the reconstruction of shelves from the old location the 'barn' is bigger and better than the 'basement'.  Among the gently used goodies you'll find a new mural on the wall, a piano waiting to be played and the occasional free hot beverage. 

Most items are sold for less than a dollar and even the highly coveted furniture and large electronics sell for less than twenty dollars. All funds from the sale go toward helping the program continue by paying employee salaries, advertising costs and other operating expenses.  Hopes for the future include making the upstairs of the barn a usable store space, fixing bikes in the barn during off hours and becoming an all-around 'eco-barn' including drying rack, room compost bucket and semester-long bicycle rentals.

What can you do to help the Barn Good Thrift Store thrive and promote sustainability initiatives at St. Lawrence?  Donate your gently used but unwanted items all year long (faculty and staff we'll take your items too as long as a college student is likely to use them) and come SHOP!  Remember to look for donation boxes in dorms during move out each spring and to contact volunteers to move larger items from your room to the Thrift Store.

E-mail for more information on donation details, employment, fall sale and spring collection.  Check SLUWire for hours.