An Urban Outfitters T-shirt has caused a social media outrage, according to The Huffington Post on Jan. 6. The shirt is a women’s shirt that simply displays the word ‘depression’ in various sizes across the garment.
Twitter has now lashed out at the retail company for trivializing a serious disease that has a widespread reach. The company is no stranger to controversy—or offensive messaging on T-shirts. Another woman’s shirt was pulled from shelves in 2010 for displaying the phrase “Eat less.”
After hearing the obvious from Twitter and Facebook followers, Urban Outfitter issued the following messages, “ Hey everyone, we hear you and we are taking the shirt down from the site.” “For those asking, the tee was designed by a small brand named Depression and we are no longer selling it on our site. depression.com.sg/index.php”
The company further stated that they were attempting to support small businesses and didn’t mean to minimize mental illness. However, how many times must a company face backlash for making light of mental illness before they get it. HuffPo notes the company also sold shot glasses and flasks that designed to resemble prescription bottles.
The founders of the Singapore fashion label Depression say that they named their line after the feeling they felt creatively right before leaving their jobs to begin the label. They say the shirt was designed for those who have supported the brand in the long-run. However, the collections feature similarly disturbing names such as ‘Birth Defects’ and ‘Dysmorphia.’
So who is to blame? Do we blame the industry?