HP Thrift's June event. Haia Elmoghani

The cultural shift towards sustainability in recent years has coincided with a spike in the popularity of thrifting. As word has spread that the fast fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to pollution, pre-owned clothes have risen to fashionable status.

Izzy de la Cruz and Kaya Sukhdeo, juniors at Highland Park High School, decided to use this trend as an opportunity to start a fundraising event. They created HP Thrift in their sophomore year to benefit a cause they were passionate about; protecting the environment.

“People call [the rainforest] the lungs of our earth.”

The first HP Thrift event was held in mid-June of this year. With items ranging from $1 to $20 in price, Izzy and Kaya raised around $350 for the Amazon Conservation Association. Izzy explains selecting the Amazon Rainforest as the target of HP Thrift’s efforts because “people call it the lungs of our earth.”

HP Thrift is already on track to contribute to the fight against industrial development in important ecosystems. According to the ACA’s website, HP Thrift’s first donation met the threshold to supply “cutting-edge lab equipment for the [Wildlife] Conservation Lab at Los Amigos, to advance science and field research on the ground.”

While the motivation behind HP Thrift is global, Izzy and Kaya kept a local focus when sourcing the clothes for June’s event. Most of the products were donated by friends, neighbors, and family members of Highland Park High School students.

The next HP Thrift event will hopefully be held in November and December with warmer clothes for the colder months. “We’re planning to do it three times a year; for every season,” Izzy expressed as her and Kaya’s goal. Keep an ear out for announcements on HP thrift to support the Amazon Conservation Association and update your fall wardrobe.