Social Media Outrage: American Apparel’s Sandy Sale Should Turn into Clothing Donations to the Needy

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In case you hadn’t heard, the east coast of the United States is in a state of turmoil.  Many of my friends have lost power in New York and New Jersey, and now my friends in Ohio are facing a major snow storm. I haven’t heard one of them say they were interested in doing a lot of online shopping during the storm.  Yet, American Apparel evidently thought the Hurricane might be a good occasion for people to stay indoors and shop online.  That’s why they sent an email to their subscriber list offering them a special deal.  Here’s the deal: shoppers could get a 20% discount  using the special code SandySale at checkout.  Seriously? Sandy Sale.  Why not just say, use code “Unmitigated Disaster.” Or say “Flood.”  Who would even think that using a Hurricane for a sale is a good marketing idea? I know many of my fellow bloggers got the email and were outraged, refusing to promote it.  While I generally like American Apparel, mainly because they employ American citizens and much of the apparel is made here in Los Angeles, this is a public relations debacle.

American Apparel, if you’re listening, I have a suggestion for you. Instead of discounting your goods and trying to make a buck, why don’t you donate some clothing to those who are now in need and could use some of your garments?  Many Americans on the East Coast have lost everything. They don’t need a sale, they need warm clothes.  Perhaps you should donate to these folks American Apparel.  Help others and get a nice year end charitable deduction instead of doing some insensitive marketing promotion.  Just a little thought.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

1 Comment

  1. Heather

    October 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    This is a great article! I didn't get an email from them luckily…but that's ridiculous! AND, I've been seeing shit on instagram/twitter about other brands doing the same thing… using Sandy as a marketing/gotta spend money ploy. It's rather pathetic.