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.

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.

More

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Amanda Williams

It can take time to feel comfortable in a new home, especially if you think there are scary monsters lurking about, which is why six-year-old Hayden Williams had trouble sleeping in his new room.

Hayden used to share a room with his 15-year-old sister, but when the Eldridge, Iowa family moved, each kid got their very own. While his sister was excited for the change, Hayden was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement.

"My little man has been having severe anxiety since we moved into the new house…I've tried everything under the sun to get him to sleep in his own room. Nothing is helping," his mom, Amanda Williams, wrote on Facebook.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

Keep Reading Show less
Future Edge
True
Capital One
via Pixabay

Ninjas are black-clad assassins that date back to the days of feudal Japan. They are skillful, secretive fighters who have mastered the element of surprise, espionage, and clandestine tactics.

Ninjas weren't held to the Bushido code like the samurai, so they could be mercenaries who did the lord's dirty deeds without worrying about their honor. A ninja's most important power is the ability to be stealth and sneak into castles or homes to take their targets by surprise.

Keep Reading Show less
popular