Culture Feature

Will 2020 See the End of Brand Activism?

Consumers are getting tired of corporation's hollow political statements.

Outdoor Voices ad campaign 2019

There's a certain type of millennial, quasi-political, female-forward brand that feels like, if she were a person, would have bullied me in high school.

She doesn't think twice about eating SweetGreen every day, considers laptop stickers a form of political speech, and schedules her bikini waxes eight months in advance. Now, she is tasked with the necessary work of acknowledging her complicity in perpetuating centuries-long racial inequity. One after another, apology posts from these types of brands pop up on my Instagram feed.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture Feature

Shein's Swastika Necklace Scandal: Fast Fashion or Just Fascism?

A cultural misunderstanding may be responsible for Shein's swastika necklace scandal...but it's still an awful company

Popular fast-fashion retailer Shein came under fire this week for selling a swastika necklace on their website.

A Chinese company, Shein has become well-known for their inexpensive clothing and accessories, often featured in so-called "haul" videos on YouTube. Shein has since removed the necklace from their site and issued an apology. But screenshots of the faux-gold necklace—listed for between $2.50 and $4.00 as "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace"— quickly spread on social media, with users expressing their disgust at the apparent insensitivity to what that symbol represents.

Earlier this month Shein was called out for cultural insensitivity after listing Muslim prayer rugs—some featuring an image of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca—as "Fringe Trim Carpets" for decorative use and for selling traditional Southeast Asian dresses modeled by white women and renamed to remove cultural signifiers.

Keep Reading Show less