Established only five months ago and launching from a dorm room, the thrift store Old Newzz is already shipping across the country. Caroline Ricci, founder and a senior at Marist College, combined her love for fashion and the environment and created a business in doing so. With each article of clothing being hand selected by Ricci, her store is truly one of a kind.
When most people think of fashion, they think of designer brands and famous logos. To Ricci, this was never the case. “Thrifting is something that I really like because it has a story from someone previous and there’s a story that you can tell with it. That’s something that I really like about fashion,” said Ricci.
Her passion began at a young age and was strongly influenced by her mother. “My mom is an art major so she’s super artistic and creative and when I was a kid she would always dress me. In elementary school, we started thrifting together and I always just had thrifted clothing. From there it just became my own passion,” said Ricci.
More than just a love for unique clothing, Ricci founded her store to do her part in leaving less of a carbon footprint. Her thrift store promotes sustainable fashion, which is essentially fashion that attempts to leave little to no impact on the environment. “In 2050, fashion actually is going to become 25% of the reason why we have global warming. It’s crazy to think that just one industry is going to be 1/4 of the problem. If this is one little thing that can make a difference and I already like doing it, the benefits work well together,” said Ricci.
A frequent customer of Old Newzz and Director of Community Engagement for the on-campus club, Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), Caroline Verdic also values the importance of environmentally friendly shopping. “Sustainable fashion is a way to give clothes a new life to someone else, whether it’s buying from thrift shops or donating old clothes to organizations,” said Verdic. She also said her club, EFI, attempts to promote the same awareness and mindfulness of recycling your clothing and reducing your waste.
Lacy Catto, another customer of Old Newzz and senior at Marist, said she does her best to be sustainable, yet it is not always easy. “I do my best to avoid supporting fast fashion, but as a college student on a budget, and with a Forever 21 down the street it honestly can be hard,” said Catto.
The fact that Old Newzz is on campus makes shopping sustainably a little more convenient. “I love purchasing clothes from [Ricci] because it’s casual, usually through Instagram DM, and I am able to pick them up or she drops them off the same day. Nothing like instant gratification,” said Catto.
So how does it work? As Catto mentioned, shopping at Old Newzz is very easy and laid back. Ricci markets all of her items on Instagram, under the brand’s page @OldNewzz. If customers see an item they like, all they have to do is send her a direct message. Ricci then reserves the item in her dorm, ready for pick up at any time. She also holds pop up events a few times a month, which are advertised on her Instagram account.
Items range from vintage t-shirts to cropped puffer jackets to corduroy hats. Anything that catches the eye of Ricci makes the cut. Not afraid of the hunt for items, the pieces come from all over the country. “Name a state and I’ve probably thrifted there,” said Ricci. She also prefers hole in wall places rather than pre curated thrift stores, because she said it makes finding the pieces more fun. “This is something I enjoy doing and it makes me happy, so I might as well make other people happy and help them start shopping sustainably,” said Ricci.
As far as the future for Old Newzz, Ricci plans to move to San Fransisco after graduation and continue to pursue her childhood passion there.