O’Dowd’s Refashionista Club: A Free, Sustainable Way to Get New Clothes

Junior Gianna Galvan discusses her new club – Refashionista.


Hillary Johnson, Contributer

Gianna Galvan ’23 has always been passionate about clothes and the environment, which led her to combine these interests into a fun, impactful club called the Refashionista Club. Over quarantine, she became increasingly interested in thrifting clothes and sustainable fashion. Gianna spent time researching the fast fashion industry and subsequently learned about the negative impacts it has on the environment. She discovered how much clothing is wasted every year due to the speed of trend cycles, leaving her shocked. Gianna says she has always wanted to start a club at O’Dowd, so she thought combining fashion and sustainability was the perfect idea.

So far, the Refashionista Club’s meetings have consisted of clothing swaps where students bring old or unused clothing to trade for other students’ clothes. The meetings take place during lunch in Room 202 where students display their clothes on desks and go “shopping” to find new pieces that are worthy of a trade. Clothes that could end up in landfills are often traded for “new” clothes, damaging the environment. The Refashionista club counteracts this trend, swapping clothes and reducing the number of items being purchased. The swaps also lead to fewer resources depletion, as large amounts of water and cotton are necessary for producing new cotton clothing.

Gianna Galvan, Class of 2023

Though she did not know what to expect and was nervous about her first club meeting, Gianna says that it went really well. The turnout was about thirty people, many of whom brought clothes to trade. Others attended the meeting to learn more about her club. Since then, Gianna has hosted four clothing swap meetings, as she is trying to keep her club active. Gianna states, “Almost every time people ask to do another one because sometimes people forget clothes. The meetings are genuinely really fun for me and my friends. It’s a great community, and it makes me really happy, so I love doing the swaps and am trying to keep it as consistent as I possibly can.”

In starting her club, Gianna wanted to meet other people who have similar passions for fashion and sustainability. She also has enjoyed meeting people in lower grades whom she otherwise wouldn’t know.

As her club has grown, Gianna has made an Instagram dedicated to her club, @bodrefashionista to promote and spread the word about her club. The Instagram account serves as a place to show photos of the swaps and showcase the clothes that people have received. She shares, “I think a lot of the clothes are really great and that the pictures really help people understand the purpose of the club and also how much fun it is.”

Overall, Gianna is very happy with how the Refashionista Club has taken shape. She says, “Personally, I have gotten a lot of really cute clothes that I really really like, and it feels good to know that I am giving stuff away to somebody who will love them and wear them more than I do. I know that other people have felt the same, and I think it is a really productive way to get new fun clothes that do not harm the environment.”