Target: CEO of Urban Outfitters, Richard Hayne
Goal: Convince Urban Outfitters to stop consistently selling offensive items designed to spark controversy
The massive hipster clothing retailer, Urban Outfitters, is no stranger to controversy. The retail giant has been under fire for many offensive items it has sold over the years, including t-shirts with the words “Eat Less,” shot glasses that resemble prescription pill bottles and most recently a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt with marks that resemble blood stains. Urban Outfitters has been asked repeatedly through many mediums, including other petitions, to stop selling offensive items that glorify tragic events or dangerous lifestyles. However, the retailer still consistently sells offensive items and publicly acts surprised and apologetic when the items cause a stir.
Urban Outfitters recently sold one single sweatshirt on its website with the Kent State University of Ohio’s logo on it, along with what appears to be blood stains in the upper corner. While Urban Outfitters denies that this stain is supposed to resemble blood, the reality is that the stain looks like blood, therefore glorifying the tragic event that happened at Kent State in 1970, which left four students dead and countless others wounded. Just as it has with other controversial items on its retail floor, Urban Outfitters issued a public apology stating that its intent was to not offend, rather bring light to the tragedy in memorial fashion.
Whether it is a blood-stained sweatshirt or a t-shirt telling people to eat less, Urban Outfitters reaps too many benefits from being randomly controversial. Of course, consumers can choose not to buy the offensive items, however, this is not enough. Urban Outfitters must stop producing clothing, accessories and apartment decor that is obviously tasteless and offensive. Urge the retail giant to become more sensitive to social plights and, overall, people by signing the petition below.
Dear Mr. Hayne,
Urban Outfitters has been under fire yet again for its sale of a controversial Kent State sweatshirt. As you know, there were markings on the sweatshirt, which in poor taste resembled blood. I understand that Urban Outfitters issued a public apology about the item, stating that it meant no harm and it is saddened by the events at Kent State in 1970.
Whether or not this statement is heartfelt is irrelevant—public apologies and ignorance seem to be the company’s scapegoat in controversy. Because of this, I am writing to you with one request: Stop selling blatantly offensive items. Urban Outfitter’s target demographic is young adults, teenagers and twenty-somethings. This demographic is extremely impressionable and they look up to Urban Outfitters. If your brand suggests this group of people wear something, they likely will. Your company has a powerful hold on the younger generations. Please discontinue abusing this power. There should be no more “Eat Less” t-shirts and no more offensive university gear aimed at glorifying murder.
Please consider turning over a new leaf with your business model. From now on, become a positive force for good, rather than a tasteless, offensive force of corporate greed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: anroir via Flickr