TREE Club, Uni’s environmental club, is leading a used clothing drive to help the environment. As a promotional poster advertises, “over 700 gallons of water goes into making a single t-shirt.” The club hopes to draw awareness to issues surrounding clothing manufacture through a donation drive. Cardboard boxes are available on every floor for students to donate their used clothes, which will be donated to Goodwill. There’s something in it for you, too, if you donate: the class with the most donations by the end of the semester will get Papa John’s pizza, which the restaurant has agreed to donate for the occasion.
While movements like the TREE Club drive have always happened at Uni, there’s an especially high number occurring this semester. That’s because many clubs which would do a monetary fundraiser are prevented from raising money by new UIUC regulations. I asked a leader of TREE club, Joanna Yoo, if the regulations affected their decision to start a used clothing drive. She said that their original plan was to hold a food sale for a charity helping endangered species, but it had to be scrapped after they were notified about the rule change.
Unfortunately, donation numbers have been low because the donation drive lacks the easy gratification of a food sale. Students are willing to give money in exchange for food, but not as many will make a point of bringing in old clothes for no immediate reward. Also, the school is small enough that it’s hard to collect a significant amount of used clothing from so few students.
If Uni clubs are allowed to fundraise next year, Yoo says TREE club is considering a sale to benefit the Green Initiative. This large-scale organization works with employers to cut down on emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. As it is, though Uni clubs are driven to support these organizations, and though they have the means to do so, UIUC rules prevent all fundraisers until Uni and University officials can reach a new agreement.