Urban Outfitters, a publicly traded American company and owner of five retail brands including, Free People and Anthropologie, is located right here in Downtown State College. It is known for its high prices, fashionable attire, and quality clothing. After doing some research, however, I’ve found that the clothes are poorly made and simply not worth the money spent on them. In fact, like most apparel chains, their clothes are made in sweatshops. They’ve even been blamed for the sweatshop “crisis” taking place around the world. I’ve read several articles promoting a boycott because of this. In these articles, the writers use pathos to appeal to consumers saying that sweatshop workers are subject to poor conditions, aren’t paid properly, and use child labor.
In today’s society, however, a boycott would not only be difficult but hypocritical because in America, we shop at stores who are known for using sweatshop labor every day, such as Starbucks, Forever21 and Nike. www.newmoon.com has a list of companies who used sweatshop labor as well.
There are also ethical dilemmas surrounding Urban Outfitters. Some criticizers of the company are saying that the company doesn’t support the morals that its owners claim to believe in. An example of this can be seen in their “Jesus Saves…I Spend” T-Shirt. The graphics are ironic because while the company supports politicians, such as Rick Santorum, who do not support homosexuality, the shirt seems to mock them.
(“Jesus Saves, I Spend” Sweat-shirt, which is $120 on Urban Outfitters’ Website)
In order to buy trendy, inexpensive clothes, while not supporting these large, immoral corporations, I recommend buying clothes at independently owned businesses, such as etsy.com and thrift stores. I’ve found really cute clothes there all under $10!