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Penn State Freshman Upcycles Vintage Nittany Lions Gear

If you’re in need of some unique Penn State gear, whether it’s for tailgates or for everyday wear, freshman Dianne Valera may be able to help you out.

The mechanical engineering major runs an Instagram account consisting of both thrifted and handmade Nittany Lions gear.

Valera previously had another account for regular clothes before her Penn State account. Using her prior experience, she created “@diannes_psucloset” on Instagram to sell her old tailgating clothes. From there, it grew into a “creative outlet” for her.

Valera thrifts the clothes she posts and also sews and embroiders them herselfs. As you could imagine, that takes lots of time. She estimated thrifting can take up to two hours per week, while a full “rework” could take as many as eight hours to make.

Courtesy of @diannes_psucloset on Instagram

Valera donates 50% of the proceeds from each of the account’s sales to charity. She tends to ask her followers which charities they’d like to donate to, but “Feeding America” is awfully close to her heart.

“I was born in the Philippines and I grew up in a province that was generally poor and food was always a question as in we always had to worry about our next meal,” Valera said.

Valera is luckily in a better position now, but she said she still likes to give back to those who struggle with the same issue she and others in her community faced.

In addition to donating half the proceeds, the packages used when shipping to customers are also eco-friendly. According to Valera, they’re made with 100% recycled paper and use compostable packaging.

“I do care a lot about the environment,” Valera said. “That goes alongside thrifting and reworking pieces instead of buying a sweater or a top from a company that just uses mass-produce labor and creates a lot of waste that goes into our landfills.”

Courtesy of @diannes_psucloset on Instagram

Moving forward, Valera has a few things in the works for the account and would like to work on reworking things like sweatpants, joggers, and other bottoms into more colorful patterns. She also said she wants to venture into more one-of-a-kind pieces, like one she recently did by attaching cow print sleeves to a Penn State sweater.

Follow @diannes_psucloset to stay in the loop about Valera’s new thrifts and designs.

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About the Author

Katie Braun

Katie is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from "just outside of Philly" like every other Penn Stater. Her only trait is being a huge fan of both the Sixers and Eagles. Unfortunately, lots of frustration comes along with that. Share your tears with her on Twitter @katiebraunn or Instagram @katiebraunn

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