I’m watching a clip on H&M.com with superstar fashion blogger Leandra Medine, founder of Man Repeller.
She interviewed three other influential bloggers whom I’ve never heard of until today, which is fine, I draw comics, I’m not up on fashion as much as I’d like to be. One of the reasons, which is a secret to no one, is that I hate shopping! It’s tough for me to obtain personal style if I’m bombarded by sensory issues. Putting together a basic outfit- never mind a ‘statement’-takes a crap load of energy, patience, time, and (of course) money.
How am I supposed to “have fun with clothes” if the store’s crowded, background music is blasting my brains out, or I’m overwhelmed by fragrances? The only time I can “be honest and authentic” is after I’m reminded, once again, that I HAVE ASPERGER’S! I can’t shop under these conditions!
I needed new jeans, so I rolled up to H&M in the Flatiron District. I found a cool pair, scooped up a bunch of other stuff and hurried to the fitting room. But then I got ambushed by a really strong scent! Practically an assault- I didn’t smell it any where else in the store!
Like a dope in denial, I thought “Maybe it came from just one customer” (it’s happened before) so I proceeded to the very last stall. Big mistake. Within minutes, this crap got more intense. I couldn’t fight my urge to flee anymore, this stuff was making me legit sick! I felt dizzy, disoriented, like I had been trapped in a scented gas chamber. I pushed back the curtain and stumbled out. A couple of feet away, I watched an employee spray chemicals from a small aerosol can directly into the stalls. Nice move, dude. >:-(
At the register, I explained to a manager what happened. Even though he apologized, he wasn’t exactly helpful. He claimed he would ask the employee “not to use so much next time”, but what good is that? This area has no ventilation! AND they do this at all of their stores!
“Can you use something environmentally safe?” I wanted to know. He claimed that corporate (whoever they are) gives them only two scents. He wrote down a number I could call, but c’mon, man, it’s not 1996. I didn’t even bother, probably a recording….
Hey, I’m not saying that blogging will make a big difference, either, but either way H&M and other stores, need to address the needs of different types of customers.
I visited H&M’s website, specifically where they stand on being conscious:
Caring about chemicals
From helping us grow more cotton on less land, to softening fibres, to cleaning clothes with less water, chemicals are an incredibly useful resource. And most of them, used correctly, are completely harmless. However, some chemicals can be harmful to people or nature. We’re committed to finding ways to use them less, and continuously replace them with better alternatives.
“One of the biggest challenges people face coming up in this blogosphere now is that there are so many voices to cut through.”-Leandra Medine