Remove the "Navajo" Collection from Stores!
  • Petitioned Richard A. Hayne, Chairman of the Board

This petition was delivered to:

Urban Outfitters
Richard A. Hayne, Chairman of the Board
Urban Outfitters
Ed Looram, Company Spokesperson
Urban Outfitters
Glen T. Senk, CEO
Urban Outfitters
Amanda Hershey, Public Relations Spokesperson

Remove the "Navajo" Collection from Stores!

    1. Tiffanie Wilson
    2. Petition by

      Tiffanie Wilson

      Spring, TX

  1.  
  2.   
October 2011

Victory

After substantial pressure from over 16,000 Change- Makers all over the United States and abroad, Urban Outfitters has removed their offensive “Navajo Collection” from stores and websites worldwide.  The Navajo Nation announced the good news in a recent press release, stating, “The Urban Outfitters Corporation’s recent removal of the Navajo name from its online marketing and retailing are positive actions that are more consistent with the corporations responsibilities they previously demonstrated.  The Navajo Nation appreciates such actions and encourages other companies to take similarly responsible measures in the future.”  

Change.org member Tiffanie Wilson decided to start a petition once she learned of the products after reading Native American activist Sasha Houston Brown’s compelling An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters on Columbus Day,  Tiffanie went online and found herself looking at the “cheap, vulgar, knockoffs” including the “Navajo Hipster Panty” and the “Navajo Flask”.  “As a woman of Native American descent, I was shocked to find such culturally insensitive and offensive products being sold to make a profit”, says Tiffanie. “These cheap knockoffs are offensive and only further promote incorrect views of native culture.  Not only are these products offense but they are illegal as well”.  

Less than ten days after launching the petition, Tiffanie shares the good news saying,  
“I am writing to let all of you know of our victory! Quietly, Urban outfitters has removed all traces of their offensive "Navajo Collection" from their U.S. stores, and their websites, both U.S. and European. It is because of people like you that this was possible. I thank you for signing and for sending this to others as well. This is proof that change can really happen if we come together for issues that matter.”  

Thank you for your support Change- Makers!

Urban Outfitters “Navajo Collection” clothing and accessories is not only culturally offensive but also illegal.  I find these items to be culturally offensive. Not just to the Navajo people, but to all people of color who find themselves starting at cheap, vulgar, knockoffs of ideas, dress, and culture that are a way of life.  Despite the offensiveness of their line of products, Urban Outfitters has refused to remove these items from their stores or websites!

Did I mention this is also illegal? The Federal Trade Commission Act and Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, "prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts produced within the United States" and states the following:


"It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States."

None of the items on their website or in their stores are made by Native peoples. Nor do any proceeds go to the betterment of the Navajo Nation. No Navajo people were apparently consulted about this line of offensive material either.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Urban Outfitters has sold offensive products.  In January 2004, Urban Outfitters offends Jewish people for selling a T-shirt that says “Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl” surrounded by dollar signs, perpetuating a negative stereotype of Jews. The company discontinued the shirt after a complaint from the Anti-Defamation League. In January 2007, Urban Outfitters pulls kaffiyehs from stores after a blogger criticized the retailer’s decision to label the garment an “anti-war woven scarf.” According to the New York Times, the blogger posted photos of terrorists wearing the tasseled scarves, and the company pulled them from stores with the explanation, “Due to the sensitive nature of this item, we will no longer offer it for sale. We apologize if we offended anyone, this was by no means our intention.”

I am deeply distressed by your company’s mass marketed collection of distasteful and racially demeaning apparel and décor. I take personal offense to the blatant racism and perverted cultural appropriation your store features this season as “fashion.”  I find the actions of Urban Outfitters and indeed society's desire for Native cultural genocide despicable.

So tell Urban Outfitters that it is NOT okay to blatantly disrespect Native cultures and perpetuate bias, stereotypes, and discrimination in this country and call for them to dismantle this line immediately!

For More Information on Sasha Houston Brown and her open letter to Urban Outfitters please go to:
http://www.racialicious.com/2011/10/10/an-open-letter-to-urban-outfitters-on-columbus-day/

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 15,000 signatures
    2. Navajo Nation Takes on Urban Outfitters and Wins

      Tiffanie Wilson
      Petition Organizer

      They pulled the word "Navajo from the Collection!!

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Sasha Houston Brown has Offered Her Support!

      Tiffanie Wilson
      Petition Organizer

      Sasha Houston Brown, the inspiration for this petition, has responded to an email sent to her earlier today and has offered us her reasons to support this petition. I thank her tremendously for her support and urge you to read the "About this Petition" page again to see her statement. Thanks for all of your support, and keep up the work on behalf of the Navajo Nation!

    5. How about some Navajo panties to go with those sox?

      Tiffanie Wilson
      Petition Organizer

      Check out this article by Bill Donovan with the Navajo Times!

    6. Urban Outfitters Navajo Hipster Panty Enrages Native Americans

      Tiffanie Wilson
      Petition Organizer

      Apparently the Navajo Nation, sent a Cease and Desist letter to Urban Outfitters in JUNE!! How disgusting that they have continued this behavior! **Thanks for the link Rebecca!

    7. Reached 250 signatures
    8. Keep the Momentum!

      Tiffanie Wilson
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks so much for getting this petition over 100 signatures so quickly! It is amazing the number of people around the world who are standing up for the rights of Native peoples! Please, please, please, share this petition with your friends and family and lets get the word out to Urban Outfitters that this is NOT okay! - Tiffanie

    9. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Adrianne Bowe Slagle CHICAGO, IL
      • almost 3 years ago

      the mascotization of Native americans offends me.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • mary anderson ORINDA, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Add Pendleton to the list. They carry a line of what appears to be genuine native American art which they support. They donate a portion of the funds to the American Indian ollege Fund (not sure of the name!)

      Good.

      BUT most of the 'native American' items they carry are gaudy, offensive knock off's.

      Bad.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alexis Baccus SACRAMENTO, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Culture is culture. Fashion is fashion. Inspiration is fine, but it is RIDICULOUS to suggest that fashion inspired by culture is the same thing AS that culture. We need to stop turning native cultures into a commodity, unless those cultures, specifically the Navajo tribes and reservations and people, ACTUALLY benefit from these products, which I don't think will happen in this case. This only really pushes native people and their own, genuine products out of the market. This isn't about being politically correct, this is morality, and real culture and real people we're talking about.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lucy Joseph DAVIS, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Europeans should not be subject to this fraud either. Get permission, be authentic, or pull the merchandise.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ronald MacDonald VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I'm a canadian native, and also find this offensive. If it's not native made, remove these illegal prducts. The Navajo people should boycott these stores.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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