Let’s say you’re looking for that ideal skirt for the end of the summer. You hop on Modcloth because, well, that’s where you buy your dresses and skirts, and you come across the following product description:
Volunteering feels good, doesn’t it? It’s also a great excuse to travel, and this time your huge heart is taking you to Africa! Embody the vibrant personalities and positive spirits of the locals when you wear this dynamic maxi skirt with an gold exposed zipper! Created by Lauren Moffatt, a favorite amongst fashion bloggers, this skirt’s wide, blue waistband matches its bottom hem, and every other olive brown, bright red, ivory, and blue vertical line is decorated with tansy-colored flowers. Wear it wonderfully with a solid-colored top, oversized beaded jewelry, and shoes that are just as pleasantly unexpected as its silky lining and the colorful bouquet that diagonally blooms above the hem of this skirt, and you’ll be loved by Tanzania locals for more than just your helping hands!
Number one, it’s a damn long description. And number two, at $275 a pop, it’s probably not the ideal purchase for your upcoming venture in volunteering, or is it? “You’ll be loved by Tanzania locals for more than just your helping hands,” should probably get some sort of award for being so brilliant, don’t you think? Obviously, a country that is one of the world’s “poorest economies in terms of per capita income,” is going to be really impressed with your fashion choice. And all this time you thought volunteering was about getting your hands dirty and making an impact – aha! How wrong you were! It’s all about making people love you with your fancy new skirt. Being selfless in a $275 skirt is both stylish and fulfilling.
Although some found it insensitive, the skirt actually sold out. However, Modcloth did issue an apology for those who deemed it inappropriate citing, among other things that:
The ModCloth writer who described this skirt spent many years volunteering in and out of the country, and it was with those fond memories of her experiences that she created this description.
The description has since been changed so as to no longer offend.
Modcloth was founded in 2002 by Susan Gregg-Koger with the help of her then-boyfriend and now-husband, Eric Koger. In 2009, the couple were listed as #2 and #3 respectively in Inc. Magazine‘s 30 Under 30: America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs. The magazine also ranked the company #2 in 2010 in their top 500 list. But will this incident have anything to do with future rankings? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. No word yet on whether or not anyone is starting a boycott – but since people have a penchant for soapboxes, someone is probably bound to start one.
Image via Modcloth