A Marvelous Thrifting Experience

Allyssa Ertz, Editor-in-Chief

Two months ago, Jessica Igarashi scrolled through her Instagram feed. An account based in Des Moines caught her eye; it had thrifted items for sale as a business page. This senior decided to buy a few of these re-thrifted items, and was inspired to begin her own thrifting account, “Marvelous Thrifts,” when she saw how popular these thrifters of Instagram are.

“It seemed like fun, and I thought it could be a good way to make some money next year when I’m in grad school,” she says.

When Igarashi, senior human performance major, began, a lot of the items for sale were from her own closet. She branched out to shopping at Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and has now put a lot of money into not only buying the clothing, but supplies for business management like packaging, business cars, stickers, and more.

Usually, she leaves the clothes as-is, but they can be cropped upon request. This is a popular style for larger t-shirts, sweatshirts, and now jeans because Spring is here. She prefers to leave most alone so buyers can do what they like with their item(s). Over the summer, Igarashi plans to try out some DIY designs for shirts.

To buy, the Instagram page is set up in a bidding style. There is a starting bid set when the item is posted as well as a “BIN” option which allows you to claim the item right that moment if you’d like to skip the bidding and pay a flat price. For bidding, your bid has to increase by one dollar from the last highest.

Igarashi mainly uses Instagram for marketing of her thrifting shop, but also utilizes other selling apps like Poshmark and Mercari if items don’t immediately sell.

Shipping is usually determined by weight of item. If it is under one pound it is about $5, and heavier or bundled items are $8. These costs also cover shipping supplies.

She likes to put her own personal touch on this thrifting business. Each purchase comes with a scratch reward for use on future purchases so that you’ll find your way back to her page and shop again. These coupons are for 10-20% off, free shipping, or buy one, get one half price.

Igarashi also incorporates Marvel as her theme into her business. When Avengers: Endgame was released, she held a different deal every day for the week.

“I’m a HUGE Marvel fan, and I thought the name was very unique, but also fit myself perfectly. I go back and forth between Captain America and Iron Man as my favorite characters,” Igarashi smiles.

Igarashi wants to reach a target audience of girls or women ages 15 and up. She’s found this to be the population that spends the most time online shopping, and uses herself as an example of this. With a passion for clothes, she’s proud of letting go of some of her fabulous finds.

She organizes and posts everything all on her own, her friends and mom are always more than happy to help her thrift. It’s been a more challenging experience than she’d anticipated, taking up a large amount of her time in doing the thrifting, taking photos, posting, and shipping. She’s thankful for the support system around her who have helped her to run this business out of her small collegiate dorm room.

“It warms my heart when I get messages from customers who are very satisfied with my business, it definitely makes all of this worth it,” Igarashi says.

Another aspect of this business Igarashi was surprised but pleased with is that it helps keep the environment/Earth clean. Thrifting or buying secondhand lowers your carbon footprint, and prevents waste of energy and resources on new clothing production. It also reduces chemical pollution and lowers water consumption levels attributed to the manufacture of new clothes, and has a lasting positive impact on the planet with these impacts and even more.

“Americans throw out anywhere from 60 to over 80 pounds of textile waste annually, and only 10 percent of this makes it to thrift stores. If more people start shopping for secondhand clothes, less fabric ends up being dumped in landfills,” Igarashi states.

This business Igarashi has created has made her realize that instead of shopping for the newest brand names, she can find the same clothes for a much more inexpensive price. She encourages anyone who wants to save money to check out “Thriftstagram” accounts for some great finds.