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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Ryan Scanlan ’20 and Jeff Hunt ’20 sell their donations to St. Joe’s students outside Wolfington Hall. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Mindful Misfits promotes responsible consumerism on campus

Mindful Misfits is a clothing donation and retail group run by five St. Joe’s students that encourages buyers to contribute consciously and consume responsibly within their community.The Mindful Misfits’ team consists of Chelsea Costa ’21, Jeff Hunt ’20, Ryan Scanlan ’20, Madison Auer ’20 and Mark Bernstiel ’20.

Currently, Mindful Misfits accepts clothing donations from St. Joe’s students and sells the items at weekly pop-up shops on Tuesdays during free period and Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. outside of Wolfington Hall. The proceeds from each sale are distributed into three categories: 40% goes to a nonprofit, 30% goes back to the donor and 30% goes to Mindful Misfits to cover overhead costs.

Costa said that she was motivated to help create the clothing organization when she started researching the fashion industry.

“The fashion industry is the second leading cause of pollution in the environment,” Costa said. “Eighty percent of clothes, especially in women’s closets, are wasted and thrown out every year.”

Hunt  said the group also aims to combat throw-away culture by offering consumers an alternative to inexpensive low quality clothing.

“What we are doing is trying to support more ethical companies and that their clothing will last a lifetime,” Hunt said. “Not just your lifetime, but for the person you are sharing it with [after it is donated].”

In addition to promoting environmentally friendly clothing practices, Costa said Mindful Misfits donates a significant amount of their proceeds to charity.

Hub of Hope, a nonprofit that provides relief centers in Philadelphia, and Sunday Suppers, a nonprofit that helps families in Philadelphia afford and attain nutritious diets, receive Mindful Misfits’ donations. All clothing that is not sold within two months of donation will be distributed to the Hub of Hope relief centers.

“We wanted to keep [the donations] focused in Philly and [donate to] small nonprofits that really needed the financial support,” Costa said. “We want the charity to be the focus of our mission.”

In addition to promoting responsible consumerism and giving back to the community, Scanlan said the distribution of the profits were created with their consumers in mind. 

“We want it to be accessible for our customers, so we try to be fair with our prices, and we are negotiable too,” Scanlan said. “But also [we set prices] so that we can make enough of a profit to make difference.”

David Steingard Ph.D., associate professor of management and leadership, ethics and organizational sustainability, said Mindful Misfits gives members of the St. Joe’s community a convenient way to participate in responsible consumerism.

“[Mindful Misfits] changes it from a disposable, irresponsible, non-cradle-to-grave system to something that is circular, that disjoints the circular economy and other ideas of sustainability that should permeate the entire campus climate,” Steingard said.   

The founders said they are hesitant to label Mindful Misfits as a nonprofit or a student group and assign official roles to members because they are unsure of what the group will look like in the future.

According to Hunt, Mindful Misfits’ short-term goals are to expand their pop-up shops to different locations within Philadelphia and extend their community outreach, which could be as early as this summer.

“I could see us opening up in Center City or maybe on Penn’s campus if there is traffic for that,” Hunt said. “If we have extra money from profit that we keep, I [want] to make food and bring it along with the excess donations to the streets of Philly.”   

While the group is looking to expand beyond St. Joe’s campus, Sophie Escario ’21, a customer from the pop-up sale, said Mindful Misfits has a special place on campus.

“There is something really cool about reusing other students’ clothes,” Escario said. “I feel that we have a really good community feel on campus, and now we are all coming together and taking part in something and sharing literally our clothes.”

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