WWU's Career Closet provides career-ready clothing to students and alums

Donated gently used clothing gets a 'second chance'

For the past several years, the Career Services Center is not only a resource hub for everything from resume reviews to practice interviews, but a welcoming space for the Western Community in search of Attire | Business Clothes.  Located in an approximate 10 x 10 foot space, visitors will find gently used business casual and formal attire and accessories that are completely free.  Several rooms equipped with mirrors are often available as changing rooms, and a stack of bags are always ready for transporting selected clothing.  Visitors are encouraged to complete a short survey to relay insightful information about their experience visiting the WWU Career Closet and to what degree this resource is beneficial.

The Career Closet was formed with the intention to support students and alumni having equitable access to professional attire to help set them apart for everything from participation in conferences & career fairs, scheduled interviews, first week on a job or internships or any other professional event in their lives.  Over 300 individuals visited the Career Closet during the 22-23 academic year, additionally, the “Career Closet on the go” was a popular resource at campus events, or hosted by departments.  To further support the “Career Closet on the go” resource, approximately $800 was received during WWU Give Day 2023.  Funds will be used to purchase accessories to equip rolling clothing racks with a mirror, pocket folders with info about career services, and purchase attire that is typically in high demand. 

While this resource has received financial support through WWU Give Day and currently receives funds contributed by WWU Employees participating in payroll deduction, attire is almost exclusively sourced from donations received from employees at WWU, alumni and community members.  Sometimes it’s the scenario of downsizing, a recent or upcoming retirement or equally memorable but difficult situations where someone has passed away and ensuring that attire had a “second chance” to remain in circulation.  The existence of the Career Closet addresses not only equity in accessing professional attire, but the development of these types of resources are also aligned with supporting sustainability goals at  WWU. 

Appointments to visit the Career Closet can be booked directly on Handshake or by calling the Career Services Center at 360-650-3240.  Donations of gently-used or new business attire can be delivered or mailed to the Career Services Center, Old Main 280, Western Washington University, 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.  Arrangements can also be made to pick up a donation directly from campus departments.  If requested, a tax receipt can be issued. 

During the upcoming 23-24 academic year, look for the Career Closet on the go at campus events, or request use of this traveling resource by emailing careers@wwu.edu.  We welcome visitors and are gearing up to do our best to ensure students and alumni are ABC ready!