Urban Outfitters has a fashion problem, not to mention a major public relations issue. Maybe it's time for our generation to buy our overpriced T-shirts somewhere else.
The retail company came under fire again on Monday for selling what appeared to be a faux blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt. Many people on social media found that the sweatshirt trivialized the 1970 Kent State campus shooting, in which the Ohio National Guard killed four students and injured nine others during a protest against the Vietnam War.
Despite the company "sincerely" apologizing, recent criticism and outrage over Urban Outfitters doesn't come as a surprise.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 15, 2014
Urban Outfitters: Overpriced Cultural Insensitivity Since 1970 pic.twitter.com/mnRtNQfneZ
— Ally Maynard (@missmayn) September 15, 2014
When is it going to be enough?
The company's controversial T-shirts continually offend, show a lack sensitivity and foster close-mindedness.
Earlier this year Urban Outfitters featured a "Depression T-shirt" on its site, while in 2010, the infamous "Eat Less" shirt sparked huge controversy after suggesting young women should -- you can guess -- eat less.
Again in 2012, the company publicized a $100 "Jewish Star" shirt, which many people argued recreated tragedy from the Holocaust. Not to mention the greatly offensive "Obama/Black" t-shirt color option in 2010.
Four out of five times, Urban Outfitters removed the clothing from its site after widespread condemnation and outrage online.
As a company that targets 18- to 24-year-olds, Urban Outfitters isn't fully recognizing the values its customers hold.
According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, people born in the '80s and '90s place high value on social change and participation in volunteer work.
Millennials want to see the difference their involvement made, not just log volunteer hours, according to the report. Significantly, 92 percent of millennials surveyed said they "felt they were working for a company that was making a positive impact on the world."
As a generation that supports change, social justice and healthy body image, Urban Outfitters continually tears away at what millennials value most, then promotes it in the form of overpriced T-shirts.
A note to Urban Outfitters: selling clothing that supports depression, anorexia, anti-semitism and racism, among other issues, doesn't fall under the category of making "a positive impact on the world." Instead, those messages set people back, prey on vulnerability and instill a culture of hate.
In other words, it's time to find another trend.