While the de facto brand of tweendom has been working tirelessly to separate itself from a not-so-great reputation, Abercrombie & Fitch's mission to rebrand hit some pretty major setbacks recently. But, last week, the retailer launched an anti-bullying campaign that shows a new leaf has been turned over at the company once synonymous with the cool-kids-only table.
The "Are You An Ally?" campaign is a multi-platform crackdown on bullying. At the retail level, it brings a line of T-shirts for women, men, and kids, the proceeds of which go to No Bully. Stores will also be offering a "Round Up" program allowing shoppers to round their total purchase to the nearest dollar, with the difference going toward anti-bullying efforts.
Beyond the mall, the brand tapped Lucy Hale to star in a a PSA about bullying prevention, which goes hand in hand with a new peer-to-peer anti-bullying program for middle and high school students. The company also teamed up with the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation to offer 10 college scholarships, for "outstanding students around the world who have persevered academically while experiencing bullying, as well as those who have led the fight against bullying in their schools and communities," according to a press release.
Clearly, Abercrombie's revamp goes far beyond a less preppy aesthetic. There's no distinction between products that are a part of this new campaign and the regular catalog of clothing. Instead of being marked as some kind of special-edition charity piece, the T-shirts are each emblazoned with an affirmation. After all, a simple reminder to "be yourself" can go a long way. Here's hoping these good vibes continue.