Blog: Leonie BarrieWill they never learn?

Leonie Barrie | 13 August 2003

Clothing that crosses the line of generally accepted standards of decency is a surprisingly common occurrence. The most recent to overstep the mark is Hong Kong based fashion chain Izzue, which has been forced to withdraw a new line of clothes printed with swastikas and other Nazi party symbols.

Other retailers who should also have known better are Sears, Roebuck & Co, which removed from sale a T-shirt range featuring slogans that mocked mental illness (also stocked by Wal-Mart Stores, Kmart, Kohl's and Target Corp); Abercrombie & Fitch, which was slammed by protestors over garments that poked fun at Asians; and Target, whose teen line featured an 88 symbol claimed to be a clandestine Neo-Nazi motif. Sportswear maker Umbro incurred the wrath of Jewish groups after naming a running shoe Zyklon – used to gas Jews during the Second World War

Surely it’s common sense for retailers and brands, particularly at the high fashion edge, to have a complete grasp of trends, apparel symbolism, value and quality so that they are not caught out by something that is socially taboo? But so many mistakes suggest that someone, somewhere isn’t doing the necessary research.

Or maybe it’s got to the stage where the bottom line comes first, with ethics taking a back seat to profits? How sad if that were true. The cynics out there might just agree with the maxim that “there's no such thing as bad publicity.”


Asia facing up to increased competition

Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...


Cambodia raises garment worker wages

The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...


Sportswear initiatives start to take shape

The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...


Hanjin Shipping collapse triggers fear of West Coast port repeat

The recent bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container shipper, at the end of August, has left billions of dollars worth of merchandise in limbo, leaving the fal...

just-style homepage

Forgot your password?