Urban Outfitters, Bad Taste, and Boycotts

I’ve featured the absurdity of Urban Outfitters outfits before, but their latest instance of bad taste is absolutely disgusting. Though shopping choices are definitely limited in Charlottesville, Urban Outfitters will no longer get a cent of my money.

I wanted to try and be eloquent about this, but the numerous instances of UO’s insensitivity just sort of..defy description. Huffington Post calls it UO’s “attempt to be edgy,” but I think this is a far too lenient descriptor. It boggles my mind that anyone would look at this blood-stained sweatshirt, clearly calling to mind the deaths of anti-war protesters at Kent State in 1970, and call it anything other than horrible.

urban outfitters

Read more about Urban Outfitters and their mistakes here:



3 thoughts on “Urban Outfitters, Bad Taste, and Boycotts

  1. To be honest I love this sweater, because it reminds us of an event we have not moved past at all (Considering that our rulers have killed, beaten, and scarred innocent people). I would wear this with open arms if it was left on its shelves (price of it is questionable). The reason I feel people or sensitive is because it was a shooting that took place at a school; but then that would mean people are to sensitive. This sweater is a comment on past events and I am sure the protester of that era would not mind wearing a similarly colored shirt in protest of that heinous act.

    1. But I think in this case, UO was far from trying to intentionally memorialize or call attention to the shooting. It’s a case of exploiting past violence for the sake of “edginess,” without trying to think about the history or broader implications. Notice that UO left no comment about the history behind this event. And the act of commodifying this violence is pretty disgusting to me, regardless or whether or not it prompts us to remember past injustice. For every person who uses this as an opportunity to reflect, there will be many more who simply see it as “cool,” as something to be bought and traded.

      1. True most corporations whether to get attention or to make money will use anything to get some more wealth. In this case I feel it would be best to leave it on the shelf. Because even if it wasn’t the companies intentions their possibly creating a revival of the protesting movement for america. For the many more who see this as cool, I pity them. But for there to be at least one person to reflect on this I would be happy. Because to change someones way of thinking it only takes one instance. Mine happened to be very similar when I saw a joke about the war in the middle east. It didn’t mean much and it offended a lot of people, but it opened me up a bit.

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