Man Decides to ‘Rebrand’ Abercrombie & Fitch by Giving Their Clothes to the Homeless

Writer Greg Karber does not like the business ethics of Abercrombie & Fitch. He was outraged by comments made by company CEO Mike Jeffries in which he admitted that his store’s clothes are meant for “cool kids”—not those uncool, unattractive ones (like ones that wear a size extra-large). Karber also thinks it’s pretty lame that the company would rather burn unused clothes rather than donate them to charity because, according to one district manager, “Abercrombie and Fitch doesn't want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing.”

Now, Karber has decided to help “rebrand” the retailer, by launching the #FitchTheHomeless campaign. He went to local thrift stores, bought all of the Abercrombie & Fitch clothes he could find and headed to Skid Row, where he gave the clothes to homeless people. He’s now encouraging others to do the same—find Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, give it to the needy and Tweet about it with the hashtag. His goal? To make Abercrombie & Fitch “The World’s No. 1 Brand of Homeless Apparel” …

7 Comments

Josh

2

Josh commented…

I would say it's less about telling homeless people they are an "ugly image" and more about playing against the stereotypes A&F have admittedly embraced. I think it's a perfect response to a company so worried about having a "cool kid" image. And it does some good in the process.

Laura Fry

1

Laura Fry commented…

I thought the CEO was Mike Jeffries?

Anyway, I agree the Abercrombie and Fitch CEO obnoxious. His philosophy and thoughts on the clothing are one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. But, let’s be honest. What help to the homeless is this really providing? “Hey, here’s a new used t-shirt that I’m giving you to help myself feel vindicated because the CEO of this company made a lot of people mad…and I uh…hope this helps you become un-homeless. Well….uh…..bye.” Really? Isn’t finding a solution to the very large problem of homelessness a better cause to invest our time, energy and money (regardless of how little) in? Instead of trying to “#fitchthehomeless’ to make ourselves feel better and make us look like we give a crap about the homeless, let’s trying building actual relationships with people. Let’s try donating our time to programs that provide people who are homeless with skills and opportunities to get on their feet again. Let’s get involved in an organization that advocates for people who have maybe made some mistakes in life and it landed them in the streets. That will make a difference. It may not change the mind of a twisted CEO, but it might change a struggling person’s life.

Josh

2

Josh replied to Laura Fry's comment

I am not trying to put you down because I do agree with your beliefs on helping people but that's kind of like telling someone "instead of giving blood you should take CPR classes and become a first responder so you can do some real good." No matter what kind of clothes they are I am sure there is a need for it in some way. Even if it's just to have something a little newer that isn't tattered. There is always more someone can do, that doesn't mean that something small isn't worthy. Plus, this is a statement meant to garnish attention. It doesn't seem that bringing attention to the homeless community in America is a bad thing and if you can do it in a way that may bring negative attention to a company with terrible values then it's the better for it.

Shoobacca

18

Shoobacca commented…

I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just feels "icky" about leveraging the homeless in what appears to be a largely vindictive response to a CEO's misguided comment. Big ups for clothing the homeless, just don't connect them to your offense. Being a pawn in someone else's statement tends to impact your dignity.

warren kimball

1

warren kimball commented…

Mike Jeffries is the CEO. Robin Lewis is a reporter...

Chris Williams

2

Chris Williams commented…

I agree that something seems a little "off" in using the homeless to bring down a brand's image....I guess it would depend on the tone of things. But from this article it does sound like the guy is being rather vindictive toward A&F and using the homeless in the process....it is less about clothing the homeless and more about tying A&F to something negative and undesirable (the homeless). In doing so he essentially labels the homeless as such...

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