Are These Unethical Brands Hiding In Your Closet?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Are These Unethical Brands Hiding In Your Closet?

Controversial brands: a deal-breaker.

16437
Are These Unethical Brands Hiding In Your Closet?

In a market where shock value sells, companies like Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, Zara, and Forever 21 are dominating. The messages these organizations invest in glorify cultural atrocities and maintain unrealistic body images. From “one size fits most” policies to t-shirts celebrating depression, these brands (among many others) definitely need to be called out.

Consider what brands you buy from and what kind of market you perpetuate. Here is just a taste of what is behind these beloved brands:

Urban Outfitters

“Tragedy at Kent State” or tragedy at Urban Outfitters?

The infamous “Kent State” hoodie has forever branded Urban Outfitters. The company sold a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt in 2014 that had faux-bloodstains and sold for a whopping $129.

The sweatshirt alluded to the Kent State massacre of the 1970s, where four unarmed students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard during a Vietnam War Protest. This product is insensitive to say the least and has deterred many consumers from further purchasing Urban Outfitters products (including myself).

Graphic t-shits that glorify depression, drinking, and an unrealistic body image are also among Urban’s top controversies.

The “Obama/Black” t-shirt color option further demonstrates Urban’s incompetence. This shirt was presented in two color combinations: “White/Charcoal” and “Obama/Black.” Urban Outfitters quickly attempted to cover the mistake and of course apologized, explaining that they had initially developed a color that was “Obama Blue.”

If Urban Outfitters is not outright racist, they are indeed careless.

Although these controversies account for a small portion of Urban Outfitters’ comprehensive catalog of merchandise, I choose not to consume Urban products. The multiple accounts of the company’s carelessness and continual insensitivity have ruined the brand for me.


Brandy Melville

Brandy was popularized through social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram, gaining 3.4 million Instagram followers just in the United States. Although one of the best-selling teen and young adult brands, Brandy Melville chooses to sell to only one type of body demographic: thin (very thin!).

The brand endorses a “one-size-fits-most” policy and is not ashamed of it. Shopping at Brandy Melville is a surreal experience. As customers sort through the racks of clothing, labels read “Small” or “One Size,” which equates to a small or a small/medium. Even most of Brandy Melville’s jeans are “one size” and cater to a 24” or 25” waist.

The models Brandy selects for their website, Instagram page, and Tumblr site are all very skinny girls. We all love Alexis Ren, but her 23” waist advertised in tandem with a “one size fits most” policy gives consumers a nasty vibe of exclusivity. These sweatpants only fit small/medium sizes.

Brandy Melville’s “cool girl clothes” are extremely exclusionary and many shoppers cannot buy their products because of sizing. Below are just a few comments of outrage about the company:


Zara

Following in Urban Outfitters’ footsteps, Zara’s cultural blunders are among the worst in the fashion industry.

In 2014, Zara was hammered over its release of a children’s pajama top that closely resembled a concentration camp uniform.

However, this was not the first time Zara distressed the Jewish community. The company’s infamous handbag with green swastikas was released in 2007.


Forever 21

Forever 21 is not a stranger to controversy. This trendy brand crossed the line with their latest graphic t-shirt for men:

"DON'T SAY MAYBE IF YOU WANT TO SAY NO." What a gentleman!

This men’s product seemingly makes an excuse for having a non-consensual act.


Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, Zara, and Forever 21 are among many ethically controversial companies.

Do not contribute to fashion lines that perpetuate drastically insensitive and exclusionary principles; do not be blind to the brands you buy.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Essential Items Men Can't Live Without

Here is everything that you need to know about the essential items men can't live without.

3735

Men get the stereotype of being simple when it comes to what they need in life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Your Car's Color Says About Your Personality

Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

145853

When it comes to car shopping you likely have certain preferences, including what color it should be. Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

30 Songs On My Back-To-School Playlist For Walks To And From Class

Headed back to in-person classes means you need a pretty banging playlist to power you through those walks to class.

116227
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

I don't know about you, but I start each day off with a one-mile walk to class. I have to have good tunes flowing through my ears during those 20 minutes, not to mention the walks between classes and the walks home. So, here is my 30 song playlist to get me through this almost unfamiliar concept we call walking to class.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Be Kind to Yourself: 8 Mental Health Tips to Try

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

65970

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Should You Own An SUV If You Live In A Snowy state?

There are many reasons to own an SUV. If you live in a cold state or a rural area, you will see that owning an SUV is very important.

55177

The gas and oil prices are too high to run in a smaller vehicle. You are better off with an SUV for hauling cargo and driving larger loads around the town. In addition, owning an SUV is more comfortable and safe than driving a smaller vehicle.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments