By Ameliah Knopp ~ Social Media Manager
A newly recognized club is already making a splash on campus. L.E.S.S. (Lynchburg Environmental Sustainability Society) hosted a sustainability fair on the Dell this past Thursday, Nov. 4th.
The fair included pop-up shops from vendors such as Gilded, Fisheye Threads, Lynchburg Grows, Not Dead Yet Vintage, and Burg Beer Gardens, the event had a substantial turnout to support these local businesses by purchasing their sustainable goods.
Hailie Kovitch, the secretary for L.E.S.S, said that they “wanted to bring awareness to students that shopping through small businesses is way better for the environment than Amazon or fast-fashion.”
In conjunction with the pop-up shops, L.E.S.S. also created and displayed posters to educate students on topics such as gardening and second-hand clothing.
The enthusiasm from the community was L.E.S.S. member, Liza Jane Ness’s favorite part of the event stating that many students were saying how “they have never seen anything like this before.”
Kovich added, “All the tables are really different too, so there’s a lot to look at and a lot of diversity between each table.”
Isabella Brumbaugh, a manager at Gilded, said that the highlight of her afternoon was that “students who aren’t from Lynchburg and don’t get out of campus are discovering our shop, which is really nice.”
Brumbaugh also encouraged students to “use a reusable shopping/tote bag, and to keep in your car for when you go grocery shopping!”
Logistically, the club said that the hardest part of putting the event together was finding the vendors that worked with their schedule to be a part of the event.
They were able to connect with the shops via Instagram as well as L.E.S.S.’ Vice President of External Affairs, Sarah Mccollum visited other markets in Lynchburg and connected with vendors there. McCollum stated that “Many markets in the area post vendor line up and tag the profiles so I was going down a rabbit hole for about a week finding new businesses in the area everyday.”
Justin Hamilton of Fisheye Threads had L.E.S.S. reached out to him and shared that he wanted to join the fair because “vintage, in general, is a good way to be sustainable”. His reason for becoming a thrifting reseller stemmed from his personal passion for thrifting clothes, but that “my collection got so big, that I couldn’t really wear everything.”
L.E.S.S. advises students, “to shop locally, going to thrift shops and second-hand clothing [stores], and growing your own produce.”
Hamilton of Fisheye Threads also encouraged students to shop at second-hand stores. Hw stated, “Goodwill is always a good place to shop, but I would say the best for me is going to yard sales. Not only for how much you can find but for the adventure too.”
McCollum added that “now [L.E.S.S.] have a huge selection of amazing vendors that are interested for next semester who will know further in advance and make our second Sustainability Fair a can’t miss event!”
Any students looking to learn more about L.E.S.S. should visit their meetings on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. or visit their Instagram, @lessuofl.