We’ve all seen them. Our Instagram feeds are all covered with red swimsuits, and there’s mass confusion and excitement flooding the internet. What the f*ck is going on?
A clothing company called Sunny Co Clothing is taking over. Their Instagram account posted an image yesterday afternoon of a woman with her back to the camera wearing a red one-piece, and the caption announced a giveaway. Unlike most giveaways, where one winner is randomly chosen, this giveaway was a free-for-all. The caption read:
“… EVERYONE that reposts and tags us in this picture within the next 24 HOURS will receive a FREE Pamela Sunny Suit …”
Subsequent chaos ensued. For the past twenty-four hours, people of all walks of life have been reposting the photo, hoping for a free suit just in time for summer. There have been debates over whether or not people will actually receive their suits – Some say it’s a scam, and others disagree. At this point, it’s too early to say whether or not the suits people have ordered will actually come in the mail. What we do know is that the code the company sent out works, and those who got to the site before the item sold out were able to get their Pamela Sunny Suits for $12.98, the price of shipping and handling.
Those who made it in time to order the suit received a confirmation email following the placement of their order, but the email was from a student email address. It belongs to college senior Brady Silverwood, who studies marketing at the University of Arizona. Silverwood, along with his business partner and fellow college senior, Alan Alchalel, are the co-founders of Sunny Co. The partners started Sunny Co. in August of 2016, and have since been gaining popularity. As Silverman mentions in a video resume, the company sold skirts to women at over twenty-eight colleges nationwide, and sold their swimsuits to the University of Colorado Boulder book store. Silverman says he’s “dealt with everything from manufacturing to customer service to running the website, and even running [their] own Instagram account”. In the video resume, which was just posted May 2, Silverman posts a screenshot of Sunny Co’s Instagram account, and at the time, it had only 7,609 followers. The account now has 762k followers and counting.
Alchalel’s done his fair share of work with the company himself. He promotes the company on his Facebook page, which states that he is the CEO. Sunny Co’s giveaway was sponsored by an app called Twazer, and guess who was part of the app’s marketing team? You guessed it: Brady Silverman and Alan Alchalel.
Given all of this information, it’s easy to assume that everyone would be happy for the duo. Instagram user Rachel Stein, however, is not. On her Instagram story, Stein shows a photo of a suit shockingly similar to Sunny Co’s Pamela suit that sells wholesale for $9.99. The retail price of Sunny Co’s Pamela suit is $64.99. Stein argues that these clothes are produced in sweatshops, where workers work in unsafe conditions, and are not paid a living wage. She briefly mentions the impact these practices have on the environment. Stein points out that because the suits are available wholesale for $9.99, and Sunny Co charges $12.98 for shipping and handling, even though they claim to donate $1 per order to Alzheimer’s research, they’re still making a profit of at least $1.99 per suit. The suits are not free. Stein’s argument is that even if you receive your suit, you’re still being scammed.
It remains to be seen whether this entire giveaway was a scam, whether or not Sunny Co is exploiting workers, or what kind of effect this giveaway will have on other companies. One thing we do know is that Pamela Sunny Suits have flooded the internet, and Sunny Co Clothing has become much bigger than just a school project.