The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that clothing company Lands’ End has apologized to customers after featuring feminist and abortion activist Gloria Steinem in the recent spring catalogue.
The interview and photo spread with Steinem has been removed from the Lands’ End website.
Lands' End CEO Federica Marchionni had interviewed Steinem to kick off the company's "Legend Series" on "individuals who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large." The interview highlighted Steinem’s work to pass an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
“It’s a statement of principle,” Steinem said of the ERA. “It just says that men and women have equal rights, and that equality under the law shall not be denied. From 1972 to 1982, we tried to get the Equal Rights Amendment into the Constitution, but we fell short by three states of getting it ratified."
“We’re still not part of the Constitution of the United States,” she continued. “One reason we need an Equal Rights Amendment is because nowhere in the Constitution does the word ‘women’ appear. We need a constitutional principle of female equality.”
In the Steinem issue Lands’ End also advertised that customers could get the ERA Coalition logo monogrammed on various Lands’ End items, and the company would donate $3 to the UN Fund for Women’s Equality for each piece ordered.
We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality. We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t. For that, we sincerely apologize. Our goal was to feature individuals with different interests and backgrounds that have made a difference for our new Legends Series, not to take any political or religious stance. (Photo: screen capture)
Lands' End has also lost customers in the school-uniform business. Two Missouri schools, School of the Ozarks and Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, said Wednesday that they would no longer buy uniforms from Lands' End. A letter from Tolton High School reads, "We believe unequivocally that all life is sacred, from conception until natural death. It would be contrary to our school's very identity to support a company who celebrates the work of someone so opposed to our beliefs."
"We are supportive of Fr. Tolton High School’s decision to no longer use Lands’ End as a uniform supplier,” Sister Julie Brandt, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, told ABC-17 News. “We will be contacting all of our schools to make them aware of Tolton High School’s decision and the facts related to that decision. We aren’t aware of how many other diocesan schools use Lands’ End as an official supplier, but we want all the schools to be aware of the situation when the local pastors, principals and advisory boards make their decisions on uniform companies."