Most are aware of the furor around Abercrombie & Fitch these days, with social media serving to expose the long held exclusionary (and possibly racist) perspectives of the corporation. Greg Karber has started a “Fitch the Homeless” campaign to fight back:
I like the concept of undermining a brand in such a novel way, and I am always for finding ways to assist those experiencing homelessness with accessing the basic necessities of live, but I’m not sold on the delivery here.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I donate a lot of clothes to local agencies serving people experiencing homelessness. And I always encourage those who ask to do the same, donating directly to the agencies versus for-profit chains like Value Village. But have a look at the reactions of the people he interacts with; this lady is scared:
This lady is confused:
And this guy just wants to be left alone:
People who are experiencing homelessness aren’t just sitting around hoping strangers will give them some clothing. There’s a certain pretentiousness to using homeless people like props to make a point against a brand. My fear is that others will do the same and unwittingly harass people experiencing homelessness. Instead, look closely at Greg’s suggestions for how to help. I agree, we should “Fitch the Homeless Shelter”, not people experiencing homelessness directly unless you already have a relationship of respect with them.