A Letter to Modcloth from a Vegan in a Huff
I have added some new shoes to my “cool vegan shoes” pinterest page. (which btw you can also see from a page on this site. How cool)
Thanks to two of my awesome pinterest followers who alerted me that two shoes I put up from modcloth had leather linings. I immediately deleted them, and it was a good wake up call, as I was not being vigilant that night. I promise to be vigilant in the future.
It went down like this: Modcloth now has tags on their site. I was looking at a non leather shoe on their site and I saw the “faux leather” tag. I clicked on the tag, and a list of what I thought was “faux leather” shoes came up.
Wrong. These shoes are not “faux leather” but merely contain faux leather….many of them have leather too.
Modcloth has always disappointed me by being so unaware of vegans and vegan shoes. I assumed they had gotten with the times, and created this tag for vegans so they could search for vegan shoes…but no…they were just pointing out, seemingly, that these shoes were made of lesser quality materials so shoppers could avoid it. Asos does something similar where “real leather” shoes have a special tag proclaiming them REAL LEATHER, like this is a good thing…anyway.
I decided to do a little activism and write to modcloth giving them a piece of my mind. This was the exchange.
As a vegan I am upset with the way certain shoes are labeled “faux leather” or “vegan friendly” yet have leather linings. For example, your (http://www.modcloth.com/shop/
This is very misleading for vegans who don’t think of leather or the skins of murdered animals to be a desirable thing to wear on their feet. I really wish you had a vegan shoe tab on your site instead of simply calling things the vague “vegan friendly” which somehow rubs me the wrong way, as well as took care to make sure shoes are really faux leather that you label as such.
Modcloth is a great company, but they are really lacking in compassion and knowledge about their vegan fanbase, and are really turning them off by mislabeling and misleading them. I wanted to let you guys know! Love you though, -Tor
I received the following response. I don’t mean to hurt this customer service rep’s feelings, but I don’t think this is an ideal customer service response. She seemed to try to point out where I was wrong (though in a cheery way), rather than understand and acknowledge the truth to what I am saying. Though what she says is correct and I am at fault for not having doublechecked, vegans are still being misled by modcloth by their “faux leather” tag.
The fact remains, modcloth does not and has never really understand the needs of their vegan customers, which I am sure are many.
Thanks for taking the time to write in to us! I’m terribly sorry that you felt mislead by the Fashionable Focus Heel! We try to be as transparent to our customers as possible when it comes to the composition of all of our products. I’ve checked on this specific piece to ensure that it was not mis-marked but I do see that we noted that the product was made of “faux leather, soft leather lining” in the story and then again in the details noted that the product had a “man-made upper and sole [with a] leather lining”.
I greatly apologize that this description didn’t sit quite well- but please know that we do have a plethora of vegan/synthetic products on the site! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns! Thank you again for your feedback Tor, I’ll be sure to make your voice heard!
I somewhat obnoxiously sent a follow up response because I did not feel she had understood my issue:
Thanks for your response. I know that you wrote that in the description, yet you have a tag for faux leather, and if someone were to click on that tag all the allegedly faux leather items would appear. This is what I did assuming it was a tag for vegans who were interested in faux leather shoes. Unfortunately the items that appear when you click on the tag are not “faux leather”, but only contain faux leather. Do you see why this is misleading for vegans? I’d love modcloth to become more vegan friendly and this is very misleading for vegans.
Yes, I know that was an annoying thing to say to try to hammer my point home, but I feel sad that modcloth has such a huge opportunity to support vegan shoes since they carry so many faux leather shoes. Yet they don’t have a separate tab on their site for vegan shoes, or even a “vegan” tag. The one tag they do have that could be helpful to vegans is instead extremely misleading and could cause vegans to buy shoes with leather linings or worse.
I know many young people are vegan these days and they seem like just the alternative-enough crowd who would shop at and enjoy modcloth. But modcloth remains blissfully unaware of them.
Modcloth does usually write in their long winded product descriptions that a shoe is “vegan friendly” if it is made with non leathers, but that term has never sat well with me. I’m not totally sure why. First, what does that even mean? Are they saying it is a vegan shoe? Or merely somehow friendly to vegans… it just doesn’t make sense. Again, they aren’t taking the needs of vegan customers seriously. Yet modcloth is one of the best places to find vegan shoes since they sell so many cheap and interesting styles of shoes.
Is it just me of does “vegan friendly” rub you the wrong way? Do you think I was overly obnoxious to mod cloth? Or do you believe the customer is always right, (ha)?