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Brand Boycotting: Popular Brands With Large Scandals

WRITTEN BY: Chelsea Hall

In this age of being “woke,” morals and being ethical are really important in all aspects of life. 

A new social movement is Brand Boycotting. Brand boycotting has been a hot topic since it usually involves popular brands. 

This is controversial since the brands are usually fan favorites such as Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville and Dolls Kill. 

What are the ethical reasons to boycott a brand? Is boycotting the brand the answer to the problem? 

Urban Outfitters has had multiple situations that have led to consumers boycotting their products. Back in 2015, Urban Outfitters was selling a tapestry that resembled Nazi propaganda. The tapestry design was closely similar to clothes that male prisoners were forced to wear in concertation camps. Holocaust survivors urged Urban Outfitters to take down the tapestry and stop it sells. 

Urban Outfitters was also in hot water for several instances of cultural appropriation and for selling products that encouraged eating disorders.  

In 2010, Urban Outfitters released shirts that said “Eat Less” and “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” The second one was a popular quote from Kate Moss. Kate Moss and Urban Outfitters were under fire for these quotes. 

Kate Moss publicly apologized and took back her motto. Urban Outfitters did take the shirts off their online stores, but back in 2010, the shirts could be found in physical stores. They never truly recalled the collection. 

As stated earlier, Urban Outfitters has had several cultural appropriations scandals. 

In 2011, Urban Outfitters was facing controversy when they released a line of faux Navajo products. This was a big case for Urban Outfitters since using the word Navajo to market their products could be a violation of federal law. 

Urban Outfitters was not the only company back in 2011 to apart of falsely using faux Navajo products; Forever 21 was as well. 

Urban Outfitters never released an official apologize or statement on the situation.

Brandy Melville is another company that many people boycott. Their one-size-fits-all policy is not very inclusive for all body types. 

What really sent people to boycotting Brandy Melville, was when TikTok star CallieJeanxo accused them of racism and discrimination. She made multiple videos on her TikTok talking about her experience working for the company. 

In one of her videos, she states that she only got the job because her eyes were pretty. 

She discusses in her video how her manager was discriminating against girls of other races when it came to hiring. CallieJeanxo even talks about how they would make a “bigger” employee work at the cash register so the costumers did not see her body. 

After her TikToks blew up, more accusations against Brandy Melville came out on Twitter, but no official statements have been made by Brandy Melville on CallieJeanxo’s videos or Twitter statements. 

Another popular but controversial brand is Dolls Kill. They are always in some sort of hot water. They are also the company with the most recent allegations against them. 

In June of this year, the owner of Dolls Kill posted photos in support of the police while using the Black Lives Matter hashtag, even though on the Dolls Kill Instagram page they have posted solidarity posts. 

When this came out, not a lot of people were shocked. This would not be the first time of there were claims of the company being racist. In the past they have many instance of cultural appropriation. For example, they used a Native American ceremonial headdress as a Halloween costume. 

Many people feel it is their moral responsibility to boycott these establishments after finding out about these allegations. 

On the other side of this argument, people believe that there is no reason for boycotting. 

They believe that since there are issues and problems with all companies, there’s no reason to boycott. 

People believe that there is no truly good company. It is a losing battle in their eyes. 

They also believe that these actions will have no actual impact on the companies. 

There are two conversations going on when it comes to boycotting brands. Individuals will either feel like it is their moral responsibility to boycott, or they may see no impact from these actions. Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville and Dolls Kill have many scandals against them, yet these companies are still standing despite the backlash.