This post was written by Lindsay G., editor of Broke & Beautiful and contributor to Awakened Aesthetic..
Image courtesy of Forbes
Do you know this man? Any ideas at all?
Good. You’re not supposed to, if he has his way. In case you’re in a curious mood, however, his name is Richard Hayne and he is the President and Founder of hipster and 20-something fashion mecca, Urban Outfitters.
What? How? But he’s… nothing like you expected, is he? Hm!
Alright, since we’re playing “introductions”, let’s try another one! Do you know this man?:
Image Courtesy of Drexel University
He’s a lovely, dapper looking fellow, now isn’t he? His name is Senator Rick Santorum. He’s a squishy, right-wing conservative from Pennsylvania. He enjoys spending his time with his wife and seven kids… Playing badminton, roasting turkeys and doing all he can to ensure that gay rights are a thing of the past.
Wait, wait, wait – back up?
Yes, Rick Santorum – while still serving on the Senate (1995 – 2007) – was not only hailed as a reliable ally of GWB, but is also infamous for his ability to compare ideas. Yes! He’s quite good. Here’s a quote where he makes one of his “best” comparisons, which fell on the ears of the AP:
“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,” – Metro Weekly, Washington DC’s LGBT Newsagazine
Um, excuse me? Homosexuality equates to incest, polygamy, and adultery? Wow, son. That’s a bit rough. Oh wait, your remarks were “misleading” when printed? Do clarify.
“My discussion with the Associated Press was about the Supreme Court privacy case, the constitutional right to privacy in general, and in context of the impact on the family,” the statement read. “I am a firm believer that all are equal under the Constitution. My comments should not be misconstrued in any way as a statement on individual lifestyles.” – Metro Weekly
Ohhhhhh… Well, in that case… B.S., Santorum. Lest we not forget how you didn’t just compare, but equated the Catholic boy-fondling preists to a “basic homosexual relationship” [AP via USA Today]. It wasn’t child molestation because the preists weren’t having sex with boys, they “were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men”. Ah, we see the difference. No, really.
Santorum is also a comedian! Did you ever hear the one about… Oh, heck. Here it is:
“If we allow gay marriage, the next thing you know people will be marrying goldfish…”
ANYWAY. What do these two guys have in common? What does the Founder and President of a seemingly gay-friendly, youth-centric fashion retail store have to do with a homophobic, small minded, ex-Senator?
Richard Haynes, President/Founder of Urban Outfitters, owner of Anthropologie and Free People contributed over $13,000 to Santorum’s campaign and Political Action Committee over the years. (Pink News, Philadelphia Weekly)
Perhaps this explains the mysterious disappearance of pro-same-sex-marriage t-shirts off the Los Angeles Urban Outfitters shelves? Hmmm…
Imagine a scene, if you will…
You run into your local Urban Outfitters, Free People or Anthropologie and scope out the newest arrivals. Oh! That jacket you’ve been longing for sits on the wall, its perfect fabric drifting slightly as a result of the A/C unit above. You walk towards it, take it down from its rack, and hold it close look at the size. It’s the last one in the store, and sold out online… This is your one chance. You lift the tag – perfect, you whisper. You try it on, it fits like a glove. You rush to the cash register and throw your change down on the counter, much to the dismay of the 19 year old kid behind the counter, purple-haired and full of facial piercings. You don’t care – the jacket is yours. You run home to covet the jacket while the cashier delicately places the money in the register while muttering incoherantly about what a total bitch you are.
He ends up taking a fraction of your jacket’s sale price in his paycheck. Another fraction goes to the store’s rent. Another to the manager (that bitch is so overpaid…). Another to the garment makers in whatever random foreign countries the jacket is made in (don’t even get me started…). The rest trickles up to our dear friend Richard Hayne. Where does it go after that? Ricky decides, my friends, and we all know he has a penchant for gay-hating senators…
Let me tell you something: It takes balls to vote with your dollar. Trust me, I’m a budget fashion blogger. Don’t laugh! I take deals where I can get them, and guess what – Urban Outfitters has killer sales. Not to mention some really, really great clothes. Hello! Silence & Noise? Kimchi Blue? Miss Sixty? I’d live in this stuff, if I could. But I don’t. Why?
Because I don’t want my dollars and cents (what few I have) to end up in the hands of anti-evolving, ignorant, bigot bastards like Rick Santorum.
Sure, he might not be in office anymore, but give any web-savvy activist 15 seconds and they’ll hand you a printed list of the new Rick Santorums who are in office and can affect our ability to change.
You can get your Jeffrey Campbell shoes elsewhere, ladies. You can find a sweet leather jacket in an independent boutique. You will survive without the aid of Free People’s sundresses.
Be smart, save the fashion community and help give relevance to it by caring about social issues like this one.
Boycott Free People, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.
Know where your money is going.
**A note from Jennifer: Now that you know the truth, click here to find some alternatives to Urban Outfitters. If you’re still tempted to shop the (admittedly gorgeous) designs that Urban Outfitters and its companies create, this post about Free People’s thievery and this one about Urban Outfitters’ long-standing pattern of stealing artists’ work should give you some more incentive not to.
Lindsay has a pretty strong opinion about Urban Outfitters, but guess who else has been linked to anti-gay political funding? Target. Read about their support of anti-gay legislation here.
Wondering if there’s more to American Apparel than assless tights? Find out here: The Truth About American Apparel.