Clothing cast off to Goodwill has become a learning opportunity, as well as a lifeline for youth needing mental health help.
A pop-up store and fashion show featuring vintage and retro styles — held at Goodwill Industries on Horton Street Thursday in a partnership with Fanshawe College students — will see money raised from clothing sales go to youth needing mental health support.
“It is really important. As students, we are affected by mental health issues. We wanted to do something to help students,” said Billi Lawrence, a second-year student in Fanshawe College’s fashion marketing and management program.
Creating and opening the store offered lessons for students who embraced the challenge of repurposing older styles and a pop-up store was the ideal venue to do it, she said.
“It’s very relevant in the industry right now. They are very popular” as more pop-up retailing is happening
“This has been a really great learning experience. It really puts into practice what we have learned.”
Money raised will go to fund mental health programs for students at Fanshawe. Goodwill offered up its clothing and staff to support the event, said Deb Trotechaud, professor in the fashion marketing and management program at the school.
The theme of the show was The Story, because “everyone has a story. We have to listen to their stories to support mental health,” she said.
“Students hand picked the clothing and curated the pieces, and this event teaches them a lot about how to start and set up a small business.”
Trotechaud also likes to stress re-using old fashion as there is too much “fast fashion” marketed to youth today that is disposable, she said.
“It is cheap, and people shop there because of that. We are trying to shift awareness. It is really about the learning experience.”