Target: Richard Hayne, President & CEO of Urban Outfitters
Goal: Encourage boycott of popular clothing chain for continued release of offensive garments
Since the early 1970s, Urban Outfitters has provided consumers with overpriced, cheaply made, and ultimately distasteful clothing that blurs the line between “edgy” and “offensive.” The clothing chain’s latest fumble comes to us in the form of a sweatshirt—a bloodstained Kent State sweatshirt, that is.
The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 Massacre, involved the shooting of unarmed college students by Ohio’s National Guard. In a period of just 13 seconds, four students were killed and nine others were wounded. Despite the historical and culturally sensitive significance of this event, Urban Outfitters decided it would be “cool” to cash in. What’s worse is that this isn’t the first time the chain has mistaken political incorrectness for avant-garde.
Not too long ago, the company mocked mental illness with the release of crop-tops emblazoned repeatedly with the word “depression.” They also caused an uproar back in 2010 when they sold a women’s t-shirt that read “Eat Less.” And, in 2012, the store was also chastised for misuse of Native American designs on products and selling a trans-phobic novelty card. The offensiveness doesn’t end there—there’s also a t-shirt color described as “Obama Black” and even a garment that makes reference to the Holocaust: a Star of David patch tee.
Yet, amongst all this insolence, the brand is thriving. Urban Outfitter’s CEO, Richard Hayne, has a net worth well over $1 billion. The Kent State sweatshirt in question also sold out minutes after its release. Following the controversy, some consumers are even trying to cash in for themselves by inflating the sales price and listing the offensive sweatshirt on eBay.
In short, the appeal of Urban Outfitters is absolutely baffling. Appropriating, anti-gay, libelous and unsympathetic, the brand has propagated a low standard of ethics and profited on the combined ignorance of brainwashed consumers. Sign the petition to admonish Urban Outfitters’ insensitive new garment and boycott the brand.
Dear Richard Hayne,
For well over four decades Urban Outfitters has been dominating the hipster fashion scene with its seemingly “edgy” and disconcerting garments that parody everything from mental illness to eating disorders, and now, historical massacres.
The Kent State shooting is single-handedly one of the most controversial and politically sensitive events in U.S. history. Four young lives were lost and nine others suffered critical wounds, with one individual left paralyzed. Despite this significance, UO decided that it would be “cool” to profit on the misfortunes of others with the release of this severely skewed and ultimately callous sweatshirt. To say that I am appalled by this garment is an understatement, and you should be thoroughly ashamed by your choice to sell this product.
Consumers have a lot more power than you realize and through the initiation of a boycott I believe Urban Outfitters will soon understand that it can no longer get away with this insensitive behavior. Your clothes are nothing but hip staples to an ignorant closet. I urge you to discontinue the sale of offensive clothing for good and to stop dehumanizing unsuspecting consumers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Minnaert via Wikimedia Commons