Perfume Protest: Teens Storm ‘Toxic’ Abercrombie & Fitch

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Ridiculous teen franchise finally protested for being ridiculous? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Last week, teen activists protested the chain store’s practice of pumping the air full of its cologne, which they claim contains harmful chemicals responsible for killing, yes, sperm.

Once the enigma of cool, Abercrombie has fallen amongst the ranks of high school-style popdularity in the past few years after the franchise refused to discount during the height of the recession, driving a rift between the brand and buyers without bottomless bank accounts and replaced as high school fashion’s crème a la crème with edgier styles by Urban Outfitters or American Apparel.

So when last week’s band of protesters from organization Teens Turning Green hit the club-like atmosphere of a San Francisco Bay Area Mall’s Abercrombie, it was hardly a surprise. Recently, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released details of A&F’s signature men’s fragrance “Fierce,” which contains 11 chemicals not disclosed on the label. According to the Campaign, one of the chemicals is one that has been shown to alter DNA in sperm, though there’s no scientific verdict on its safety. Still Abercrombie could have a Lindsay Lohan-sized fall from grace on its hands if the science checks out.

Pumped through the circulation vents at some A&F stores, the potent perfume has been the complaint of headaches for years, but if these toxic claims are valid, the franchise faces an entirely new type of embarrassment than simply being the story who bumps out-of-touch club music and stifles your air supply with throat burning cologne: lawsuits. According to the local NBC affiliate, the chanting teens marched around the store for a few minutes, demanding the removal of the fragrance from the air, before security emptied the store.