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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.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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