The Garment District: Free Student Friday

Students taking advantage of "Free Student Friday" at the Garment District. 

On Friday, March 1, The Garment District held its annual “Free Student Friday” event. If you’re not familiar with The Garment District, it’s a thrift store in Cambridge that’s famous for its “by the pound” section. Every Friday, they sell clothes for $1 a pound, and every other day it’s $2 a pound. There is only one designated section for this deal, where the clothes are all on the ground, so you have to physically sit and sift through it. Once a year, however, they give these clothes away for free. Yes,  FREE! Students, as long as they have a valid ID from the school, don’t have to pay a cent for up to 15 pounds of clothes they find.

When we got there, naturally the store was packed. We arrived at about 5 p.m., and I thought it would’ve been slowing down by then because the clothes would no longer be free after 8 p.m. Wow, was I wrong! It’s a huge room that was filled with clothes, and we could barely walk! I figured that by that time, I would at least be able to see the brightly painted pink ground of the room. Once again, I was wrong. There were still plenty of clothes to sift through, and I was ready to start.

There were a lot of children’s clothes because I’m assuming that’s all the stuff no college student needs. Everything else we can find a use for, but we don’t tend to know many babies. There were a lot of jeans as well, and to my surprise, bras. The stuff that people can never fit into because the sizes are so complex. So, not a ton of material for me to work with here—literally and metaphorically. However, I love a challenge. I think it’s fun to just sit on the ground, throwing old T-shirts over your right or left shoulder, looking for the perfect outfit inspiration. Occasionally finding stuff so ugly that you have to turn to the person next to you and make a joke about it.

The reason the clothes were not becoming sparse was because after about 20 minutes into me being there shopping, they said “everyone move aside, we have some new clothes to put out”. So, I’m assuming they did this once or twice an hour. Either way, people went nuts. They started stampeding over to the clothes once they were dumped. I get it, because there were new clothes there, like with the tags on still. However, I could not go digging through and alongside people like we were trying to compete or something. These are still just a pile of clothes.

I ended my shopping trip with 8 pounds of clothes, my friend with 6 pounds of her own. I got some stuff for my mom and my boyfriend but couldn’t find too many things for myself that I loved. However, I’m excited to work with pieces I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something new that’s my favorite go-to thing. This event is an awesome thing that I think is a great idea to give back to students. I’ve never heard of anything like this, and it seemed to be a super successful thing. Support local businesses, and shop at The Garment District!

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