Campus Thrift Store Embraces Sustainability in Style

Jaxon Davis, a senior in fashion development and product management and environmental sciences, is transforming conventional clothes shopping for NC State students. His vision? To provide affordable, accessible and sustainable fashion on campus.

Every year in the United States 11 million metric tons of textile waste enter landfills. Thrifting is one way to give clothes new life and purpose, and that’s one of the motivations for Campus Thrift Store, which Davis has been working on since his first year at NC State.

On Saturday, March 30, the Campus Thrift Store will open in Lee Residence Hall inside the EcoVillage Living and Learning suite from 1 pm – 5 pm. During the opening event, all items will be sold for $1 each, with proceeds benefiting Layers of Dignity, a nonprofit that provides clothing to survivors of sexual assault leaving the hospital. 

For Davis, the significance of Campus Thrift Store’s sustainability efforts extends beyond clothing circularity. It is also about community. He emphasizes the importance of collaboration, noting partnerships with the Greater Good Textile Group and Feed the Pack Food Pantry. Davis is also exploring an initiative similar to the NC State Sustainability Fund, in partnership with the University Sustainability Office, where student organizations can use proceeds from the thrift store.

“Partnering with community and student organizations has always been an integral component of [my work],” Davis said. “We all work better when we are working together.”

Reflecting on his journey, Davis acknowledges the influence of both his mother and the Sustainability Stewards, an on-campus sustainability leadership program he was part of earlier in his college career. 

“Growing up I was always pushed to make a positive impact on the world around me,” he said. “I was lucky enough freshman year to apply to the Stewards. Their motto for all of the students is to start a project that they were very passionate about and see where they could take that.” 

His interest in thrifting and waste reduction led him to start pop-up thrift events during his time in the Stewards. Later, he created Vintage By The Pack, which brings together student and community vendors on campus to offer unique items. The inaugural event generated nearly $50,000 in sales for participating organizations last fall.

As Davis spearheads sustainable fashion on campus, he’s also fostering a culture of conscious consumption and community engagement. “I find it critical to make sustainability appealing to everyone,” he said.