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Here are 5 (of many) reasons I no longer shop at Urban Outfitters. Hopefully you'll join me.

All that cuteness comes at big cost. And I'm not talking price tags.

Here are 5 (of many) reasons I no longer shop at Urban Outfitters. Hopefully you'll join me.

Urban Outfitters has been getting a lot of publicity lately, but not because of a big sale. (Sorry, shoppers.)

The HuffPost Show explains:

The clothing chain for young people with a taste for "bohemian, hipster, ironically humorous, kitschy, retro, and vintage styles" has been up to some shady business.

People like to shop at places with cool stuff. And for that mildly obvious reason, Urban Outfitters' popularity makes sense. But how many fans of Urban Outfitters would continue their patronage if they found that behind the scenes, the company was the stark opposite of cool?


In a list of "faux progressive companies" — those easily mistaken as "good" and ethical — Alternet's Lauren Kelley names Urban Outfitters:

"Urban Outfitters is the kind of place that's filled to the brim with young, cool, vaguely lefty-looking people, but the company itself (which also owns Anthropologie and Free People) has plenty of issues."

Issues indeed. Here are five important things you need to know about Urban Outfitters:

1. Urban Outfitters has an anti-gay problem.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (above), who once publicly compared homosexuality to bestiality, has received political donations from Richard Hayne, president and CEO of Urban Outfitters. All GIFs from HuffPost Show.

The HuffPost Show mentions that Urban Outfitters President and CEO Richard Hayne "has given over $14,000 to noted homophobe Rick Santorum." PolitiFact backs that up. Even Miley Cyrus was like uh-uh.

But homophobia doesn't just play a role in Hayne's political agenda. It also affects his business, which is shocking when you think of all the young, progressive LGBT allies who must shop at Urban Outfitters. ThisIsMoney.co.uk once wrote, "Hayne must be the only retailer whose expansion plans depend on no one finding out who he really is."

2. Urban Outfitters profits from astonishing disrespect.

Rarely does a year go by without news of an Urban Outfitters product scandal. Their offensive goods have made them enemies in the black, Irish, Jewish, and gay communities. They've insulted all of Mexico. And if that's not bad enough, they've even profited at the expense of mental health sufferers, the prescription drug abuse epidemic, and people who have been affected by gun violence.

3. Urban Outfitters is like a klepto at a craft fair.

The company has been accused on many occasions of stealing entire designs from independent craftspeople and designers. Writer Courtney Heitter speculates that the company takes those chances because of "its dominance within the industry." She also explains that without copyright protection, the chances of winning a lawsuit against the company are slim. So cover your arses, artists!

4. Again, Urban Outfitters just can't stop stealing.

They're not just heisting people's creative work — they're freeloading off people's cultures. In 2012, the Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement when the company released an entire line of "tacky and insensitive" products using the tribe's name and symbols to turn a profit.

"Because nothing's cooler," says the HuffPost Show, "than appropriating Native American identity to brand random crap manufactured in Asia."

5. Despite all of this, Urban Outfitters is doing better than ever.

Thanks to young, fashion-hungry shoppers, the company achieved record sales of just over $1 billion in the last quarter of the 2015 fiscal year. If the company thinks that grants them license to keep stealing and promoting ignorance and insensitivity, I hope we can all agree their financial success is a problem.

"At Urban Outfitters, backward-minded stereotypes are fashion-forward," says HuffPost Show. And apparently, so is abusing power and cheating people.

If that sounds like a big ol' pile of B.S. to you, consider nixing Urban Outfitters for your future wardrobe and tchotchke needs. It's hard keeping track of and avoiding all the worst companies to shop with these days, but the good news here is you have clear options.

Want unique styles? Check out your locally owned shops, boutiques, and my personal favorites, thrift stores. You'll not only help your local economy, you'll also take a little power, dollar by dollar, away from Urban Outfitters.

P.S. Urban Outfitters Inc. owns five brands, so watch out for all of 'em: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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