well wtf am i supposed to buy?

So apparently there are no clothing options for me that are both ethical purchases and not something my grandma would squeal over. 

Over at jezebel they posted about the Urban Outfitter's Ethics Survey - basically checking whether employees will smoke pot on the job or not, or more accurately, whether or not they can effectively lie. 68 statements that you can either strongly agree-disagree with, and unless you are a complete idiot, you should be hired soon enough. 

With statements like: 

Most employees get high on the job at one time or another. Smoking a marijuana cigarette is the same as having a drink. Some people work as well slightly high as they do sober.


They seem a little preoccupied with the marijuana. I've been in that store a lot lately. Their concern makes sense, to say the least. I mean, for god's sake, they've sold a shirt with a marijuana leaf on it that says "legalize it" who the hell do they think they're attracting? 

Why not ask about stealing? Urban Outfitters apparently has a history of stealing small clothing companies' designs. There's a blog devoted to it. Urban Counterfeiters. Clever. But still. They have some legit examples. Which makes me pretty sad...I like Urban Outfitters. They fulfill my skinny pant/V-neck needs. 

But I guess I don't want to support big corporations taking advantage of true individuals. How about anthropologie? They're Urban Outfitter's sister company...not as cutting edge/pro-marijuana legalization, but still funky. 

BUT OH WAIT NOT SO FAST. Anthropolgie has some disgustingly racist tendencies, as relayed by a former employee. Employees are instructed to follow "blac--er, African American" shoppers, as everyone knows they have a higher tendency to shoplift (asfasdfkldjsf). Also, people of color and suspected lesbians are thrown in the back where the shoppers can't see 'em. All to support the image Anthro is selling to all the 20-30 year old white women who fancy themselves bohemian chic.

Sweet Jesus.



Then we've all heard about Abercrombie's discrimination lawsuit: hiring less women, latinos, african americans and asian americans than white men, targeting fraternities and sororities for hiring - overall just hiring based on skin color and gender not qualifications.

Disgustingness I can't support by buying their clothes. And Abercrombie also encompasses Hollister, so that's out. Oh yeah, and I sort of feel like I'm either being squeezed to death or encouraged to show thong when I'm wearing their stuff. 




Then there is the feminist's nightmare that is American Apparel. Made in America, that's great, right? Well, yes, we are eliminating the element of slave labor, that's always a plus. But then there are their ads.

I've heard "artsy" and "unique" as adjectives applied to AA's ads, which certainly are different. But I think this quote from an NYU reporter put it best: “Photographs of young women in compromising positions, some as young as 15, are juxtaposed alongside text giving accounts of meeting the models on the street and inviting them to be photographed, conveying the feeling of some sort of perverted conquest.”





 Then there are the two separate sexual harassment cases against Dov Charney, founder and senior partner, who sounds like a complete and total doucheperv.  Apparently, Charney exposed himself to both women, invited one to masturbate with him and ran business meetings at his house next to naked, and sought to hire young women with whom he could have sex, preferably Asians. When asked about this, Charney said the women were suffering from a "victim culture." Yeah, because women who are sexually harassed are probably just asking for it. Always. But then he continued, saying, "Out of a thousand sexual harassment claims, how many do you think are exploitative? Women initiate most domestic violence."

Oh. No. He. Didn't. And also, they may not employ slave labor, but they're anti-union. Which makes perfect sense. Not.

Okay, so just to make this clear: Urban Outfitters - plagiarize designs. Anthropologie - racist, possibly homophobic, over all close minded. Abercrombie - discriminators and sexist. American Apparel - pandora's box of misogynistic ugly. 


Well, there's modcloth, which is always a good option. If you want to get really hardcore, there's AuH20 or  Outspoken Clothing. Point is -- there are always other options. It might be easy to walk into a store that is run by a misogynistic asshole, but it's also pretty easy to get online and find something unique, not corporate, and KIND TO EVERYONE! Happy hunting, fellow feminists!

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Julie Zeilinger
Founding Editor of The WMC FBomb
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