WATCH: Abercrombie & Fitch for the Homeless

Polo shirts, cargo pants, and flip-flops for everyone--including the homeless.

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In his #FitchTheHomeless video, L.A. writer Greg Karber picked through what he calls the “douchebag section” at a Goodwill thrift shop to rack up some Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, which he then gave out to homeless people on Skid Row in East Los Angeles.

Now that 67 percent of the apparel-purchasing population is plus-sized, many retailers (such as H&M) have begun embracing larger sizes. Abercrombie, on the other hand, has held onto an outdated beauty standard by not carry women’s sizes XL or XXL, reports Business Insider.

(MOREAbercrombie & Fitch: We’ll Pay ‘The Situation’ to Stop Wearing Our Clothes)

In a 2006 Salon interview, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries divulged:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either…

That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

In today’s HuffPost Live interview, Karber said he was “so upset” about Jeffries’ comments that when he went on Facebook to complain, someone online said, “Don’t worry, karma will catch up to this guy.” Karber realized he couldn’t wait for karma. And he wants you to join him: In the video, he asks viewers to find all the Abercrombie clothes you’ve “mistakenly purchased,” donate them to your local homeless shelter, and then tweet about it using the hashtag #FitchTheHomeless, which already has thousands of re-tweets.

“I hope the end goal is to help a lot of people. I hope that some good comes out of this. I don’t want to be exploitative of the homeless. But I think this is an opportunity to address two issues at the same time. I want people to no longer to associate Abercrombie & Fitch with cool clothing… They’re not hip nor sexy,” Karber explains.

MOREHow Attractive Clothes Shoppers Affect Our Buying Habits

16 comments
AntonyGossett
AntonyGossett

This doesn't help anyone except the homeless, and a man with a huge ego.

punkakes13
punkakes13

i dont think poor pople r ugly, i think ugly ppl r ugly hehhe

punkakes13
punkakes13

like.. theres notin to say about these brands

he only brands ts i have i gained them

i would never by these things

because, i know what its like not being able to have one, therefore, i now what it means and i have concious

and when i have the money, i still dont wanna buy it, cause the conciouss is so deep

that.. like, its letters.. like.. its not like a social sirt or something u should spend on

well, most ppl buy ts

and..

and when i see a ugly person, i dot agree, i think they r usually ugly... who like wearing letters on t shirts

punkakes13
punkakes13

hahahahahaahahahah good idea, its gonna be the homeless brand now

NancyAlonso
NancyAlonso

I am afraid the CEO of Abercrombie remain me of Hitler, one raze, if he needs to be careful or he is going to end like Galliano with no job.

CalebBoone
CalebBoone

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

Mike Jeffries has made a statement which might be made by a Junior High Schooler on the playground.

His reward is thousands of replies of a similar nature.

Have a Dovely.

Sincerely yours, Caleb Boone.

ChadGoller-Sojourner
ChadGoller-Sojourner

So let me get this right, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch chooses to burn his damaged clothes rather than donate them to the poor, lest they ruin his brand. And so in order to shame/ruin him and his brand, you choose to outfit homeless people with his clothes. Can you not see the irony and vast implications that accompany this idea? Clearly not, for your next stop was Goodwill where after some trouble you secured some A & F gear and headed to “East L.A. also known as Skid Row.” Only Skid Row isn’t located in East L.A., rather Central City East, something ANYONE living in L.A. with prior homeless engagement would have known. Forgiving that, what I find most disturbing is your actually video for once you finally get to Skid Row you appear to basically hand/toss random clothing items to its various residents, as if A&F clothing is one size fits all, as if any piece of clothing is better than nothing, as if your gesture of giving is bigger than the items actually worth. While it makes for good video, having watched your video several times I can say with some certainty that with exception of the dude holding the t-shirt at the end, few if any of the items you distributed werecrafted to fit the intended, more importantly you didn't seem to care. Which brings me to my finally and most important question, did these people know you were filming them, and if so did they know what for? Did you compensate them, get them to sign releases? In fact with the exception of providing them with ill-fitted used clothing what dignities did you extend them that the CEO OF A&F did not?

DebbiMorrow-Carlson
DebbiMorrow-Carlson

The owner of A&F sounds like a real idiot. I find it pitiful that he would rather burn his mis-runs rather than donate them. But this video bothers me. I am not clear on how what he is doing is that different. Isn't he acknowledging A&F's statement that there are the winners and losers. He has decided the homeless are the losers and ugly people. Even if is actions were not intentional it doesn't change the reasons for his choices and what he at heart believes. I am a hard time keeping any of this down at this point.

hardeise
hardeise

I AM ABSOLUTELY DISCUSTED. What lesson are you teaching people? I see an ugly side to your Company. People should understand that it isn't how big or small you are that gives you a good heart, but how you treat others. Your company is helping children, especially teens, feel that they do not have any value unless that are genetically born small or they starve themselves to have an appearance  that you dictate as something  wonderful. The world is already shallow enough and you are training those that want your clothing to die for an appearance....many are literally dying!!!! What kind of evil message is the Acrombie CEO sending out. Parents need to stop buying from this company.

rethink
rethink

" I don’t want to be exploitative of the homeless. But..." So he agrees he is exploiting the homeless.

Why not make the same point by going to a high school, picking out the ugly kids, and giving them the clothes? Because that would be mean. Is handing out the clothes to the homeless any less mean? Did anyone inform these people that they were intentionally being given these clothes in order to protest the idea that the clothes are exclusively for the cool and attractive? How does that uplift the dignity of the homeless person?

AF's position that only cool and attractive people should wear their clothes is just a gimmick marketing strategy by a successful businessman who knows how to appeal to his target audience. Of course, those who buy the clothes need to use better judgment, but so do those who use the homeless as objects to make a point without inviting the homeless’ voice, and even their consent, into the conversation. While a conversation has been successfully started, it seems the approach is adding another domino to the problem by now objectifying and insulting a different set of people.

imhere101
imhere101

IF YOUR AGREEING ON THE PEOPLE NEED TO BE HIP GO DIE IN A HOLE!

JennaBartlett
JennaBartlett

as the video stated, if abercrombie has damaged clothing on the rack, they don't donate it....they burn it....

gpowa
gpowa

@rethink im sure the homeless are fully aware of the status they hold in society. if I were homeless, I'd just be grateful that someone has given me free shirt.