Forever 21 is under fire once again! The popular retailer has been accused of ripping off the t-shirt design from an indie designer.
Word, a West Coast-based agency created a t-shirt with the word "woman" written in different languages to raise money for Planned Parenthood. But on Friday, Angela Carrasco and Zoila Darton, the founders of Word, took to Instagram to call out the brand for stealing the design from their benefit T-shirt. "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. Too bad they removed the Swahili, Arabic, Hebrew & Japanese ???????????????? #CreatorShirt #Forever21 DONATE ALL THE MONEY TO @plannedparenthood," the post read.
Unlike the Forever 21 shirt, Word donates 25% of proceeds from the shirts to Planned Parenthood. While the retailer didn't copy the design entirely - the Forever 21 shirt is a tank top - the similarity is undeniable. Since the post went viral, many people have bought the Word t-shirt in support of the agency. "Just ordered mine today to support the cause!" one user wrote. The shirt, which helps fight for better women's healthcare in the United States, is currently sold out since the accusations came to light.
“We hope that this social backlash will be a lesson to the fast fashion corporations — hire talented designers with experience and pay them well. There is enough money in this industry for everyone to win. In addition, we would like Forever21 to donate the proceeds of their shirt to Planned Parenthood. They do after all profit from women,” Darton told Refinery29.
Forever 21 has since removed the shirt from their site and released a statement. “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,” the retailer responded to the incident. Will Forever 21 ever learn from their lesson?!