How often do you actually look at the fine print on your clothing care labels? Beyond seeing if they say “Dry Clean Only,” probably not often. Maybe that’s what some clothing manufacturers are counting on when they incorporate a cheeky “joke” into their washing instructions. However, one woman who actually noticed one on her Missguided bodysuit was not amused.
Twitter user Lillian Eve posted a photo of a label that showed an unexpected message, right under the “hand wash only” and “cool iron on reverse” directions in multiple languages: “… Or give this to your mum she’ll wash it.”
— Lillian Eve (@Lillianevee) August 15, 2017
This message seems misaligned with the Missguided brand. Its website outlines all sorts of admirable goals like “to empower females globally to be confident in themselves” and “inspiring a new generation of unstoppable females to be themselves and achieve whatever they want.” Those ideals don’t go hand-in-hand with the idea that it’s a mothers’s job to wash their grown children’s clothing. Unfortunately, this comes just weeks after another Missguided blunder, in which customers complained about a store in Kent, England, that featured a neon sign reading, “Send me nudes.” In response to an online petition and social media outcry, the store promised to cover the sign.
Missguided has not yet responded to Yahoo’s requests for comment on the label.
It’s not the first brand to make this faux pas. In 2015, the Italian brand Shoemaker included the line “Or give it to your mum it’s her job” on a care item. When politician Federica Mazzoni saw it on a sweater belonging to a friend’s son, she didn’t just get irate on social media, she lodged a formal complaint with the Italian Advertising Commission, TheLocal.It reported.
“Obviously it wasn’t enough for the company to provide all the necessary useful information, it felt the need to have its say, by perpetuating a sexist message about mothers and women, insulting for men and fathers,” she wrote on Facebook.
“There is no kind of sexist irony,” a spokesperson for Shoemaker’s distributor Unipersonale told TGcom24.
“It’s just a simple joke aimed at teenagers who are our target.”
Also in 2015, several people noticed that Salvo Sports, the Indonesian makers of jerseys for the Pusamania Borneo soccer team, had the instructions, “Give this to your woman. It’s her job.”
“The message is simply, instead of washing it in the wrong way, you might as well give it to a lady because they are more capable,” the company tweeted by way of apology. “There is no intention to humiliate women. In contrast [we want to tell the men] learn from women how to take care of clothes.”
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