Editor’s Note: Missa Webb is related to Joy Webb, co-editor-in-chief for the Scribe. Joy did not contribute to this article.
Secondhand shopping is in. Fast fashion is out.
However, not everyone feels comfortable going to thrift stores and sifting through hundreds of clothing racks during a pandemic. This is where Instagram comes in handy.
Missa Webb is a sophomore and strategic communication major with a health and wellness promotion minor. Webb started selling thrifted clothes on Instagram because of harm caused by the fast fashion industry.
To name a few, 93% of brands surveyed by the Fashion Checker are not paying garment workers a living wage, and fast fashion brands use open-loop production cycles that pollute water and land, according to the New York Times. The United Nations Environment Programme reported in 2019 that the fast fashion industry is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions.
“Not only does [fast fashion] contribute to mass waste, it also exploits the BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] community through unsafe and harmful working conditions. Thrifting is a way to find unique, cheap clothing while not supporting this industry and re-using someone else’s clothes instead of buying new!” Webb said via email.
Webb said that she has thrifted her entire life, and that it is one of her favorite hobbies.
Webb’s hobby became a business in the summer of 2020: sunshine thrift co, “a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion.”
Though based in Colorado Springs, Webb’s business model is different because it operates entirely on a social media platform.
“Through COVID, this has been a success because everyone is online shopping. I also implemented a contact free delivery service and sustainable compostable shipping mailers,” Webb said. “Something else unique about my business is that I promote body positivity, self love and sustainability. I am a woman-owned small business!”
Webb bases her purchases on the latest trends and color scheme popularity.
“I also base my purchases off of if it is something I can cut or embroider. Usually, I will also ask my followers what they are interested in. I have a passion for fashion and usually just buy what I personally would want.”
Popular brands like Patagonia, Ralph Lauren, GAP, North Face and Forever 21, in addition to custom embraided crewnecks, have appeared on sunshine thrift co. Webb also sells gender-neutral clothing.
She spends about an hour in each store and tries to go thrifting at least two or three times a week.
“Thrifting has so many benefits. It is so much fun!” Webb said. “You can find cheap name brand clothes that are unique, not something that every single girl will be wearing from the mall. Thrifting is sustainable. It is one way you can reduce your carbon footprint and produce less waste.
“Thrifting also allows for you to develop your own personal unique style. Not only that, but by shopping second hand you are not giving your money to companies that exploit women and the BIPOC community.”
Webb’s Instagram handle is @sunshinethriftco_. Webb does a clothing drop every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Her followers then have 24 hours to bid on clothes that start out around $10. She charges a $5 shipping fee for out-of-town deliveries.