A new denim brand is being criticized for attempting to commodify the Women's Movement with a pricy, limited-edition line of denim that comes in a very limited sizing range.
Earlier today, a New York Times article on the release of a #MeToo-themed capsule collection from recycled denim brand Denimcratic was published. However, the line's jeans quickly came under fire for marketing themselves as "woke" jeans, yet only going up to a size 10. Dubbed We Wear the Pants, the line includes a denim jacket ($375) and pair of jeans ($250) laser-printed with "30 news reports from The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, all detailing stories about sexual harassment in the workplace."
“The question was: How can we make these issues that mean so much to us into a wearable garment that people want to buy that doesn’t marginalize them in any way, but is respectful and thought provoking at the same time,” Denimcratic founder Gabriella Meyer said, before explaining that using denim—"the fabric of revolution," which "started out as very much a man’s uniform"—is meant to also "open a dialogue."
"There has been a lot of news regarding hostile work environments and gender inequality, and we want to make sure that people don’t forget it,” she said, before adding that, "Conceptually, it made sense for us to utilize laser engraving, as the designs will naturally fade with the indigo dye over time, like a regular pair of jeans. Our hope is that as the garment ages and the text fades, so do the issues we face with gender inequality and sexual harassment."
And that's cool and all, especially seeing as how Denimcratic donates 10 percent of the capsule's sales to the Time's Up fund. That said, Twitter isn't impressed by an "empowered" line that only caters to women with relatively deep pockets who are a waist size 30 or smaller—and, to be honest, we have to agree. Check out some of the reactions, below.
UPDATE 6/19/18 11 a.m.: In response to the critique, Meyer has released the following statement on behalf of Denimcratic, addressing the cost and sizing concerns.
We must acknowledge, we did not write the articles used in the design and were very careful to select global news articles that spoke to the issue from an organizational perspective which is the greater issue we are addressing. Our vision is to show that addressing the actions of organizational leadership, rather than calling out the bad apples, is the way to move us forward. The appearance of Weinstein’s name is an accurate reflection of the article’s reference of him in the subject matter. To change the article in any would be a disservice to the reporter, publication and the advancement of this important cause, but more importantly to the victims who so bravely have made sure their stories are being heard.
One important quality I would like to highlight is that we chose to laser print the articles on the denim. Though it creates a higher price point, this was a conscious decision to use laser engraving, as the textile print with fade with time and wear, like any pair of jeans. On a Conceptual level, this adds to the premise of this movement, and our collection.
Regarding pricing, we sincerely did everything that we could to address the price of the garment but we made a conscious decision to create the jeans with ISKO in an environmentally sustainable manner and the cost of those processes are reflected in the price and quality of the products.
We are incredibly touched by the outpouring of interest around our collection, and have fully listened to the constructive feedback and demand for making larger sizes available beyond the size 10. We are overjoyed that a broad range of women are so passionate about this cause and our collection. We are currently planning the second production run of this collection and with the extremely helpful feedback on sizing, extend the size runs we release.
Finally and most importantly, we are happy to report that since launching yesterday we have sold approximately 25% of our inventory in less than 24 hours this is a staggering amount of support and an indication that women are prepared to speak with their bodies and their pocketbooks on this important subject.