The University of Mississippi is planning a greener future with the new clothing donation initiative Re-Rebs, a student organization created by student Mia McKey.
McKey, a junior undergraduate student at UM, generated the Re-Rebs idea during the fall semester of 2022, with the organization coming to fruition in the spring.
“Last semester, I started kind of dreaming it up, and then this semester, it turned into a full-on initiative through one of my public policy leadership classes,” McKey said.
The idea came to McKey after witnessing countless friends throw away clothes they no longer wanted. She decided that she would help turn their old wardrobes into fresh fashion for someone else.
“Seeing friends have garbage bags full of clothes to donate, and then getting too lazy to do it and just throwing it away was a really big push for me,” McKey said.
Her original response to the growing issue involved a project for Greek houses. However, after presenting her idea to her public policy leadership class, Re-Rebs was selected as the campus Project of the Year.
“We have a presentation on Thursday to get some funding to implement five donation bins at residence halls,” McKey said. “Eventually, all 15 residence halls will have clothing donation bins.”
Once students have donated clothes, Re-Rebs plans to distribute them to organizations that benefit both the local community and the UM campus.
“Donations will be divided between campus and local organizations. We’re also working to divert a lot of donations from Goodwill and towards just locally owned businesses like Salvation Army and Holding Hands — then the UM Career Closet, of course, and the Pregnancy Center of Oxford,” McKey said.
After fully forming the concept for Re-Rebs, McKey and her team of 12 peers will be handing the project over to the Center for Community Engagement. McKey urges fellow students to join the Center for Community Engagement in their process of improving the environment of Oxford both on and off campus.
“There’s going to be plenty of volunteer opportunities to help come pick up donations, and help sort them and deliver them,” McKey said. “So I would just love for all students to be aware of that, and look into utilizing resources to give back.”
McKey and her team have high hopes that Re-Rebs will be a step in the right direction for the University of Mississippi.
As said in their mission statement, the purpose of Re-Rebs is not just limited to clothing bins. Their goal is: to provide students with a sustainable way to dispose of old clothing, which will, hopefully, lead to a brighter, greener Ole Miss.