Forever 21 landed itself in some hot water last week (not for the first time) after people realized that one of its shirts was a rip-off of an indie brand’s design. Now, after a good dose of social media backlash, it’s been removed from the site.
The garment in question bore a striking resemblance to WORD’s Creator Shirt ($25), which lists the word “woman” in multiple languages. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds of the sale were donated to Planned Parenthood. Forever 21’s version lacked the Swahili, Arabic, Hebrew, and Chinese translations of the word, and it certainly didn’t benefit any charities.
When WORD caught wind of the situation, they posted a side-by-side comparison of the shirts on Instagram, saying “PLEASE SHARE: Hey @forever21, we’re not ones to point fingers but this looks mighty familiar. For the record, we created this shirt with a purpose.” They also urged Forever 21 to donate the profits from the knockoff tee to Planned Parenthood, as that was the mission of the original.
In a statement released to Refinery29, Forever 21 responded, “The shirt in question was bought from a third party source. As soon as Forever 21 was alerted to the issue, we respectfully removed it from our website. Because this product did not have trademark or IP protections, there were no red flags raised at the time of purchase.”
What do you think of the T-shirt controversy? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via WORD)