Penn State Freshman Upcycles Vintage Nittany Lions Gear
If you need unique Penn State gear, whether for tailgates or everyday use, rookie Dianne Valera might be able to help.
The mechanical engineering major runs an Instagram account of Nittany Lions that are both thrifty and handmade.
Valera previously had another account for regular clothes before her Penn State account. Drawing on her previous experience, she created “@diannes_psucloseton Instagram to sell her old tailgating clothes. From there, he became a “creative outlet” for her.
Valera saves the clothes she publishes and sews and embroiders them herself. As you can imagine, this takes a long time. She estimated that saving can take up to two hours a week, while a full “rework” can take up to eight hours.
Valera donates 50% of the proceeds from each account sale to charity. She tends to ask her followers which charities they’d like to donate to, but “Feeding America” is terribly close to her heart.
“I was born in the Philippines and grew up in a generally poor province and food was always an issue as we always had to worry about our next meal,” Valera said.
Valera is thankfully in a better position now, but she said she still likes to give back to those struggling with the same issue she and others in her community have faced.
In addition to donating half of the profits, the packaging used when shipping to customers is also environmentally friendly. According to Valera, they are made with 100% recycled paper and use compostable packaging.
“I care a lot about the environment,” Valera said. “It goes hand in hand with saving and redesigning parts instead of buying a sweater or top from a company that only uses mass production labor and creates a lot of waste that goes into our dumps.”
Going forward, Valera has a few items in the works for the account and would like to rework things like sweatpants, joggers, and other bottoms into more colorful designs. She also said she wanted to venture into more unique pieces, like the one she recently made attaching cow print sleeves to a Penn State sweater.
To follow @diannes_psucloset to stay up to date with new thrift stores and new designs from Valera.