When I heard that Teens Turning Green planned to stage an anti-fragrance protest in front of Abercrombie & Fitch's 5th Avenue store, I was thrilled that someone– especially a group of teens– was taking action against the company's misuse of perfume.
If you happen to have passed an Abercrombie store in the past year or so, you know that the company has been pumping out fragrance from its stores– to the degree that even a stroll near the entrance results in a choking breath of perfume. It's certainly attention-grabbing!
According to the Teens Turning Green website: "Daily, A & F requires staff to repeatedly spray Fierce in the store's dressing rooms, retail space, on the clothing, and from ceiling sprayers that blow the spray outside the stores into the commons."
What must their employees think? Do they breathe this fragrant cloud for eight hours a day?
If so, their health is being compromised. In this particular case we know that Abercrombie's perfume contains toxic chemicals, following a study by The Environmental Working Group and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that found several unlisted chemicals, including diethyl phthalate, a hormone disruptor, in Abercrombie & Fitch's Fierce cologne for men. TTG calls diethyl phthalate "a chemical linked in recent human studies to sperm damage in adult men, abnormal reproductive development in baby boys and behavioral problems in children." All of this potential harm to men, from a men's cologne? Sensitizing chemicals that cause allergic reactions like wheezing, asthma, headaches and dermatitis were also found. Check out the full report here.
Some people see the protest as unfairly targeting one company over others, but the fact is that anyone who aggressively markets toxic fragrances in this way should be called out for it (fragrance counter employees, I'm looking at you). And I have great respect for the teens who have had enough. To show your support, TTG suggests signing their petition or leaving a Facebook or Twitter message for Abercrombie- here's how.
And if you're looking for a safe men's scent, try the unisex Chaman's Party from Honore Des Pres, or the masculine Santal or Ksar Oriental fragrances from Florascent. All use natural essential oils for scent in place of synthetic chemicals!