Pete’s Closet: Back and More Sustainable Than Ever


Courtney Fox

The Closet is organized by sizes, styles, colors, and types of clothing. “Sweaters are together, jeans are together, Pattonville brand stuff is together, and our prom dresses are all on their own rack,” senior Kenedi Jenkins said.

Abigail Evers, Copy Editor

Hidden in the forgotten depths of C-203 lies a once-vacant room, filled with darkness and always looked past. Now, they shine with possibility and posters advertising the reopening of Pete’s Closet. The small room used to thrive but has since been left empty since the spring of 2020.

“The FACS department had been wanting to bring back Pete’s Closet for a while, but we had a hard time finding a way to do it,” Dr. Juliane Ross said, current organizer and advisor for Pete’s Closet. “We decided to incorporate it into our curriculum. We created a new class, College Credit Fashion and Interior Merchandising, which lent itself extremely well with the re-opening of Pete’s Closet.”

Pete’s Closet provides students with affordable, sustainable, and fashionable clothing. Every year, a person throws away over 81 pounds of clothing, contributing to the 11 million tons tossed by the country as a whole.

“We want to promote shopping secondhand to reduce the amount of textile waste filling our landfills, while also providing a place where students can find affordable (and free), stylish clothing,” Ross said. “That’s why our tagline is ‘Stylish Sustainable Boutique’.”

The boutique is organized and run by Ross’s seventh-hour CC Fashion and Interior Merchandising class.

“Every couple of weeks, we all rotate to different jobs,” junior Makenzie Heinz said. “Some of these jobs include running social media, organizing the clothing, making posters, pricing clothing, etc.”

Previously, most of the clothing was bought from thrift stores by a now-retired teacher, Lynn Wynen-Chamberlain.

Wynen-Chamberlain’s mission was to provide clothing to in-need students and their families. Now, the seventh-hour class is using donated clothing from students to keep fresh options and trends, but some “vintage” material can still be purchased, such as old Pattonville merchandise and designs.

“Not much of the contents pre-Covid were kept,” sophomore Natalia Cruz said. “A large chunk of it was donated to local thrift shops since the prior content did not meet the new requirements created for the store.”

Donations are being accepted in return for store credit. If they consider an item to be worth $5, then you will get $5 worth of store credit. You can only use those credits to purchase items in the store, rather than getting money back in cash.

“The requirements for the donations are neat clothes, school-appropriate, not torn or clothes with holes, clean, not wrinkled, and must be delivered in a box,” junior Jada Brown said.

Pete’s Closet is officially open for shopping, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., and Contact Time during homeroom.