Swapping for Sustainability: Merrimack Students’ Clothes Get a Second Life

Merrimack’s Entrepreneurial Lab sparks inspiration from fashion-forward, environmentally-focused students
Brooklyn Stolgitis and Jessica McGee sit behind piles of donated clothes.
Brooklyn Stolgitis, left, and Jessica McGee of Merrimack Fashion hosted their first fashion swap event at The Hub.

One Merrimack College student’s unwanted wardrobe can now be another student’s newest fashion piece thanks to an initiative from the Entrepreneurship Lab.

Merrimack College student Jessica McGee ’22, M’23 has launched Merrimack Fashion, an organization focused on student fashion and environmentally conscious consumerism. The organization completed its first clothing swap event on Dec. 6 at The Hub. Students were invited to donate their lightly-worn clothing for a chance to pick another piece, free of charge. 

“They have a new style just by dropping off their old clothes,” explained McGee. “I think with people that only necessarily want to wear one thing at a time, they can come and pick through different clothes and see what they want for free. It doesn’t have to have all this packaging and shipping involved.”

Donated clothes not claimed will go to local nonprofits including the Lazarus House in Lawrence. The swap garnered around 40 to 60 pieces of clothing.

“It’s been a good first try,” said Brooklyn Stolgitis ’24, who co-runs Merrimack Fashion with McGee and is studying entrepreneurship and marketing concentrations at the Girard School of Business. “We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from people. We want to do it again.”

McGee was inspired to start Merrimack Fashion after noticing how many pieces of clothing her peers go through. She partnered with Merrimack’s new Entrepreneurship Lab to help plan the event. Located in Crowe Hall, the E-Lab is open to the entire Merrimack community and aims to support students and staff in launching their own businesses. 

In order to promote the event, Merrimack Fashion launched its own Instagram page to highlight the range of students’ fashion styles on campus.  

“I think it’s a great way for other students to click on our page and see maybe people they know participating,” said McGee.

McGee, a double Warrior, received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing last year and is currently working on her graduate degree in management with concentration in marketing.

“All the marketing classes I’ve taken in my undergraduate and graduate studies have been super helpful with (Merrimack Fashion),” she said. “(Marketing) sets the tone of how you want to promote your brand, what kind of message you want to put out there. We definitely wanted it to be a positive place that students could go and message us whenever they needed to.”