By Alexa Turner, Tess Adelstein, and Gabe Goldstein
Springboard loves to elevate the great things teens are doing in the community. So, when we learned about Poshmark for Change, which was founded by three Jewish teens from the Chicago area, we reached out to the founders to learn more about this great organization.
About Poshmark for Change
Poshmark For Change is a charity organization that raises money for different causes by selling used clothing donated by the Chicagoland community. All children’s clothing is taken to Cradles to Crayons, and clothing that does not sell after a few months is donated to the Epilepsy Foundation.
The mission is to make an impact in our community by raising money for those in need, and helping save the environment by keeping clothes out of landfills and encouraging second-hand shopping.
Alexa: 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. For me, being alone during COVID quarantine was one of the biggest challenges. I suddenly had massive amounts of free time, and the only person I could hangout with was myself. To make this time easier, I tried to think of things I could do to pass the time. I realized I had tons of clothes in my closet that I didn’t wear, and I was in need of some extra money so I wouldn’t need to ask my parents for it anymore. That was when I found Poshmark, and first dived into the world of second-hand selling and shopping.
After a year of selling on Poshmark, I had learned so much about the fashion world. One of the biggest problems I came across was the amount of clothes that end up in landfills every year, especially coming from second-hand stores. When many people donate clothes, they think automatically that they are giving their clothes a second life. While many clothes are bought and re-used, a whopping 62.5% of donated clothes are sent to landfills, with another 18.7% being immediately incinerated. (Green America) As landfills start piling up, even more clothes are incinerated to make space. This matters because when clothing is burned, they release poisonous substances and large amounts of chemicals that can negatively affect the health of our planet and nearby communities. (PSCI) Donating clothes to second-hand stores, such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, is substantially better than throwing them out. These stores are important to our society because they allow for cheap, sustainable clothing options and help keep many clothes out of landfills. But, I wanted to think of a solution to help give clothes a chance for a new home before ending up in thrift stores, in order to help keep our planet healthy.
After some time, I came up with the idea for the original project. Using my background of Poshmark, I wanted to collect clothing in my community and sell it on Poshmark. Then, any money that is earned would be donated to a cause I was passionate about. But, I didn’t know where to donate. I told my camp friend, Tess, about my idea, and she was immediately on board to help. We discussed the project together, and eventually the idea bloomed.
Poshmark For Summers of Tomorrow (SOT)
Tess: One of the biggest values Alexa and I share in our lives is love for the sleepaway camp we met at, Camp Chi. Because of Covid, we sadly weren’t able to attend camp in the summer of 2020 and experienced our lives without camp for the first time in almost a decade. While we still kept in contact with each other and our other camp friends, we realized that camp should be something everyone can have the chance to experience. Sadly camp isn’t an option for many kids due to a range of different reasons, one of the biggest being the cost. When we were talking and researching different organizations to donate the money we made from the Poshmark, we found the Summers of Tomorrow Fund and knew it was the perfect choice. The Summers of Tomorrow Fund was made in honor of Former Camp Chi Director Ron Levin and provides support for “camp scholarships” for kids who can’t afford the cost of camp. Not being able to go to camp for even just one summer made us aware of how much of a privilege it is to have camp in our lives and continue to go each summer. We want other kids to be able to have the same opportunity and experience we had, which was our biggest motivator for choosing the Summers of Tomorrow Fund and calling ourselves “Poshmark for SOT”. From the time our Poshmark account was up and running in early 2021 until right before we left for camp in June of 2021, we were able to raise more than $2,000 in total for the Summers of Tomorrow Fund.
Alexa: During our Summers of Tomorrow campaign, we realized that we could make an even bigger impact. Donating children’s clothing directly to organizations that give to children is important as most kids can’t shop or afford clothes for themselves. As most people donate to stores like Goodwill, we thought we could do good by driving all children’s clothes down to Chicago and donating them to Cradles to Crayons. Donated clothes can then be given to local Chicago children in need (Cradles To Crayons). Additionally, we didn’t want our clothing to sit in a basement forever with no use. After a few months of being available on Poshmark, we decided we would take them off the website and donate them to the Epilepsy Foundation. The Epilepsy Foundation donates its clothes to Savers, and its proceeds help provide free programs and services to almost 140,000 Chicagoland residents. (The Epilepsy Foundation).
Poshmark For Change
Tess: Being able to help allow kids the opportunity to attend camp was something we were extremely grateful to have the ability to do. When we came back from camp at the end of August of 2021, Alexa and I realized that attaching ourselves and our Poshmark to one organization really limited the extent of the impact we were able to have on issues we cared about locally and globally. We wanted to do more for a larger scope of people, which is when we had the idea of changing ourselves from “Poshmark for SOT” to “Poshmark for Change”. Our plan is to work with different organizations and campaigns that focus on a wide range of issues that face our community and our world. During each partnership, we continue to raise money through selling clothes on our new Poshmark, “Poshmark for Change”, and donate all of the money we make during the duration of the partnership to the organization we’re collaborating with. In addition to this, we also use our other social media platform, Instagram, to share information about the organization and help spread awareness to their cause all in hopes of helping our community and the people in it.
Chi Therapy Collective: Campaigning for Trans Lives
Gabe: I’m Gabe, the newest member of the Poshmark For Change team, and a big part of why we chose the Chicago Therapy Collective as the latest organization for our next campaign. The CTC is a Chicago based LGBTQIA institution. The central campaign of the organization is Trans Inclusive Chicago, a movement that seeks to increase advocacy and protection against violence and discrimination of transgender individuals in the Chicagoland area. I’ve been in the fight for transgender equality for a few years now, connected to the issue through my mother, Gearah Goldstein. My mom identifies as transgender and has been at the forefront of activist movements for transgender rights as well. Through the relationships she had built in the Trans-feminine community, I got to know another person well too. Elise Malary, a founding member of the Andersonville Chicago Therapy Collective, was a very close friend and fellow advocate of my mom’s. During the time that I spent with her over the time that I knew her, it was clear to me that Elise was a brilliant, vibrant, warm young individual who cared deeply about the unjust issues affecting her community. Sadly, in mid-March, Elise was found dead on the front of Lake Michigan in Evanston. To honor her life, the values she stood for, and the organization she helped found and cared so deeply for, the next campaign of Poshmark For Change will be raising money for the Chicago Therapy Collective. It is crucial now that we raise money for this charity, so that we can save transgender lives and build a safer Chicago for transgender individuals.
Support Poshmark For Change
You can support us in many ways! The main way to help is by donating used or unworn clothing from your closets. You can drop off clothes at our houses located in Highland Park and Chicago. We can also pick up from anywhere within 30 minutes of the Chicago area.
We are looking for mostly any type of clothing, but specific items that can help are:
- Athletic Gear
Clothing Donation Form Link
Secondly, we have been working hard everyday to list new items on our Poshmark! Get yourself a new outfit while supporting a great cause!
Lastly, we also take cash donations if you cannot donate clothes or purchase from our Poshmark.
Paypal Donation Link
Venmo Donation Link
We thank Springboard and our community for all the support we have had! We could not make anywhere near as much of an impact without the help of others.
-The Poshmark For Change Team