A&F Would Rather Destroy Its Clothes Than Donate Them to the Homeless

by , 05/15/13   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Submitted Story, The Big Idea

Abercrombie & Fitch, Greg Karber, homelessness, Mike Jeffries, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, corporate social responsibility, YouTube

If you thought Abercrombie & Fitch couldn’t get more offensive, you’d be wrong, oh so wrong. After CEO Mike Jeffries drew fire last week for deliberating excluding plus-size women from wearing his clothing, a three-year-old remark by an unnamed store manager is picking up traction. “Any clothing that has any type of blemish, including things such as a stitch missing or a frayed fabric, gets sent back to the company for immediate disposal,” the source said. “Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing. Only people of a certain stature are able to purchase and wear the company name.”


But writer-filmmaker Greg Karber thinks the retailer is due for a “brand readjustment.” In protest of Abercrombie’s exclusionary policies, Karber has launched a campaign to distribute the store’s garments to the homeless. In a YouTube video released on Monday, Karber is seen scouring the “douchebag section” of his local Goodwill for Abercrombie-branded merchandise. He then heads to Skid Row in East Los Angeles, home to one of the largest populations of transients in the United States, to hand them out.

To protest Abercrombie’s exclusionary policies, Greg Karber has launched a campaign to distribute the store’s garments to the homeless.

“Abercrombie & Fitch only wants a certain kind of person to be wearing their clothes,” Karber says in the video. “Today, we’re going to change that brand.” Some of the homeless were reluctant to accept his largesse, at least at first, he continues. “Perhaps they were afraid of being perceived as narcissist date rapists,” he says. “But pretty soon they accepted it wholeheartedly and my expedition was a huge success.”

Karber is now urging the public to make “Fitch the Homeless” go viral. Look through your closets or your friends’ closets for Abercrombie clothing, donate them to a homeless shelter, then share what you’re doing on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ with the hashtag #FitchtheHomeless where applicable, he says. His goal? To make Abercrombie the “world’s No. 1 brand of homeless apparel.”

Well trolled, Karber. Well trolled.

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6 Responses to “A&F Would Rather Destroy Its Clothes Than Donate Them to the Homeless”

  1. steamer551 says:

    Genius? I say stupidity. The writer has no clue of how to build a brand. I commend Mike Jefferies for speaking the truth on his company’s successful marketing genius. People don’t flock to Walmart to be seen in the latest fashion. A&F markets to the “In” crowd not the wanna-bees.

  2. bethanyjade says:

    Any clothing manufacturer knows you have to have a target market: that is, the group or groups of people you think will buy your clothes, the people who you aim your advertising at; the people you make your clothes for. But there is a definate line between who you target and working to actively exclude certani groups, and A&F has crossed that line. Someone asked me recently if I would be willing to take A&F clothes and make them larger so larger people could wear them – a move to thumb our noses at the company. I declined, for a number of reasons, but I think I may start doing what Greg Karber is doing. I think this is a great way to show A&F that they aren’t as elite as they think, that they can’t control the world and shape it to their limited view. So I hope Mike Jeffries is listening, because I want to make this a growing movement, not just a random stunt.

  3. micahfinn says:

    I started to wear Abercrombie when i was 19. Back then the company wasn’t branded with black&white photography– in fact the designs, clothes, details even on the denim (there was one with a ribbon at the hem of the jeans) and their images where in color. When i was in university i continued to wear Abercrombie because it fitted my lifestyle. But now, once it has become mainstream and the general public of all ‘looks’ and ‘sizes’ have started to wear them, it has lost its exclusivity and lustre as a brand. I dislike Mike Jefferies idea of the ‘brand’ when posed in an insulting way so that it reaffirms that the company is ONLY for the athletic, wealthy elite. Quite honestly, i don’t wear A&F anymore. I’ve moved on to Jack Wills- the British brand that reminded me of Abercrombie’s earlier days.

  4. dsheker says:

    If they burn their “not so perfect clothes” then why is Karber able to find their “not so perfect clothes” at a goodwill? All retailers send back to the main company any kind of clothing they seem unsaleable and when that happens the main company sells off their “not so perfect clothes” to places like Goodwill. This is no way means they “would rather burn their clothes than donate them to the homeless.”

  5. fauxwolf says:

    Actually dsheker that is not true. I’m on the board for my community’s goodwill and all of our merchandise is from donations ONLY from locals. We have never received items from name brand stores. Check your facts. bye.

  6. clothesperson says:

    I have to respond to dsheker, also as fauxwolf did. Regular consumers who have purchased clothes of ANY brand, will donate them to thrift type stores. They don’t always just donate them when they are finished using them or outgrow them. There are other reasons people donate. Sometimes when people die, they donate that persons clothes in their closet, even if they still had tags on them. Sometimes items get left somewhere, and are not picked up and owner not found, so they get donated. One example is storage lockers. If you don’t pay, your storage gets auctioned off. If the bidder doesn’t want the clothes, they will donate them. Consumers have multiple reasons for donating clothes. It’s not just stores doing it.

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