Emyr Ortiz / The Highlander

A line snaking out of the AB wing of the Lothian Residential Hall to the outside wall of the building welcomed the opening of Luna’s Thrift Store at 3:00 p.m. last Wednesday. Hundreds of students attended the opening day of the new semi-permanent thrift store operated by UCR’s National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), which offers a wide variety of free used clothing items to University of California, Riverside (UCR) housing residents. 

The thrift store, open three days a week, hopes to be a useful service for UCR residents, containing racks of clothes and being a space for residents to donate their own items. “NRHH’s values are service and recognition,” explains UCR NRHH Vice President (VP) Anthony Ching. “So underneath the value of service…this is a service that is helping out the residents.”

UCR’s NRHH has a history of operating clothing drives and used clothes giveaways for campus residents. In fact, the store’s namesake, Luna, is a purple stuffed unicorn that was found at NRHH’s first clothing drive. The organization collects clothes through drives and donation boxes located near the RSOs of certain residential halls. NRHH also holds occasional “thrift swaps,” where residents can thrift the donated clothes. These events have been hosted throughout campus housing, from the Dundee Residence Hall to Oban Family Housing. 

“The main purpose of the clothing drive and thrift swaps originally was to promote sustainability,” shared Ching. “Because residents do have a lot of pile up in their closets, we don’t want [those clothes] to go to waste. Instead of throwing that away, [we are] donating back to other residents, future residents.”

The opening of Luna’s thrift store now provides a more permanent place for residents’ thrifting needs, at least until the end of spring quarter. According to Zanthee Schwarzmann, head of the thrift store and Director of Sustainability for UCR NRHH, Luna’s currently operates in a space owned by UCR Dining. Since NRHH currently only has the space until the end of spring, Schwarzmann wants to focus on “proving that [the store] is worthwhile.” Schwarzmann is “relatively ambitious” with the goals for the store, including having a “more permanent location.”

Emyr Ortiz / The Highlander

Scharzmann emphasized that the opening of the store was “a team effort,”, shouting out numerous volunteers who helped launch and operate the store, and first-year, NRHH member Ian Tjan. Tjan helped coordinate the use of the store space with UCR Dining. 

First-year student Ditto Bhadra described the opening as “pretty fun” and expressed appreciation for the “free drip, as they say.”

Luna’s Thrift Store is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the West Lothian AB Wing.