the anti-choice fashion beat

Lands’ End Shoppers: Pro–Ugly Totes, Anti–Gloria Steinem

A yet-to-be-realized Lands' End tote; Gloria Steinem.
A yet-to-be-realized Lands’ End tote; Gloria Steinem.

Anti-choicers are at it again. And by “it” I mean grossly overreacting to things. This time, it’s your grandma’s favorite clothing supplier (a company known best for being confused for L.L.Bean), Lands’ End.

In an effort to appeal to the youth, Lands’ End hired a new CEO, Federica Marchionni, last August. As part of its “Legend Series,” Marchionni interviewed Gloria Steinem, a woman who is undoubtedly a legend, although her appeal to millennials is, um, questionable. But even though there’s nothing in the interview about abortion, anti-choicers were dismayed at the company’s decision to celebrate the famous feminist.

One Catholic school in Ohio announced it will cease using Lands’ End clothing for its uniform. In a letter obtained by ABC 17 News, Tolton Catholic School asserted that because Steinem has previously “spoken of women’s ‘need’ for abortion, and referred to it as a ‘sacrament,’” the school can no longer work with a company that “celebrates the work of someone so opposed to [their] beliefs.”

In response to the general backlash, Lands’ End released the following statement:

“We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality. We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t. For that, we sincerely apologize. Our goal was to feature individuals with different interests and backgrounds that have made a difference for our new Legends Series, not to take any political or religious stance.”

According to Jezebel, Lands’ End also removed the option to add an “ERA Coalition” monogram and donate to the Equal Rights Coalition’s Fund for Women’s Equality.

Now, of course, pro-choicers are the ones who are mad. One post on the company’s Facebook page reads, “Now you’ll lose the business of the sane customers you had, myself included! So excited to seek out your competitors who might actually have a backbone.” Another commenter writes, “Count me as one of the thousands of lifetime customers who refuse to further support a company that apologizes for featuring Gloria Steinem and actually pulled an option to help women worldwide.”

Looks like Lands’ End is in a lose-lose situation. As for me, I will continue to not buy things from the company, mainly because the clothes are really, really ugly.

Lands’ End: Pro–Ugly Totes, Anti–Gloria Steinem