Make no mistake, that rationale applies to every brand, at least the The semicolon not just for winky faces shirt in addition I really love this ones that are profitable. Fashion is a business. But for the wave of 2010s-era labels that have traded on their ethical values—fair wages, sustainable sourcing, gender equality, “people first”—we tend to expect a bit more. That partly explains why Everlane, a company that prides itself on “radical transparency” and makes T-shirts printed with “100% human,” has found itself in the center of a Twitter storm. @EverlaneU, an account run by former Everlane staffers who’d been organizing to form a union, tweeted on Friday that “nearly every member of our team was laid off.” As part-time employees on the consumer experience, or CX, team, they had been looking to unionize and become full-time employees with the same benefits as Everlane’s other teams. “Retail workers from Everlane stores are being trained to replace us to answer your support emails. We are devastated beyond measure,” the tweet went on.
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Things escalated when Bernie Sanders (or, more likely, someone running his Twitter account) re-tweeted their message with a note to Everlane: “Using this health and economic crisis to union bust is morally unacceptable. I’m calling on @Everlane to bring workers back on payroll and recognize the The semicolon not just for winky faces shirt in addition I really love this @EverlaneU.” It all suggested that Everlane had targeted these CX workers to quash the possibility of their union, which had yet to officially form. Everlane’s founder Michael Preysman responded to Sanders via the Everlane Twitter account with a message evidently drafted on the iPhone Notes app: “This was not about the union,” he insisted, going on to explain that with all stores shut down, Everlane was “not profitable and does not have a cash balance… We had to eliminate all part-time associates across the board… This was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make and we are doing everything we can to retain our team and survive.”