Her video was in response to another TikTok user Meredith’s (@meredithmlynch) video exposing Ramy Brook for selling a polyester dress for $445 and not listing materials on their website. Videos like these catalyze consumer awareness, and as shoppers around the world become in-the-know, the conversation around brand accountability in the fashion industry heats up.
Ganshaw wastes no time diving straight into the matter, starting, “Abercrombie and Fitch is a huge issue,” pointing out that the brand’s “wool blend mod coat,” priced at a steep $220, contains no wool at all.
Instead, according to the screenshot Ganshaw shows in the video, the coat’s outer layer is entirely synthetic, made of “96% Polyester, 2% Acrylic, 1% Nylon, 1% Viscose.”
“They’re flat-out lying,” Ganshaw asserts, questioning the legality of such marketing practices. Upon further investigation, A&F’s own website seems to have pulled the “black” wool coat option from their product listing.
As of writing, the only colors available for purchase are Brown, Brown Plaid, and Dark Grey Plaid, which all contain between 30 to 33 percent wool. According to the one-star reviews on the site, the black coat—which is the one Ganshaw shows in her video—did not contain any wool.
@hannahganshaw #stitch with @Meredith Lynch #greenscreen look at this ! Theres so many examples too! I thinj its safe to say people are being tricked ! #abercrombie #woolcoat #winterfashion #fabriccontents #fallstyle #ootd ♬ original sound – Hannah Ganshaw
The TikTok community rallied behind Ganshaw, with comments echoing the sentiment of befuddlement. “$200 for POLYESTER is wild. but the thing is, PPL ARE BUYING THEM,” pointed out one user.
Another quipped, “Screams SHEIN at Abercrombie prices!” The conversation turned to alternative shopping strategies, with one user advocating for thrifting as a sustainable and economical option. They highlighted the ability to find genuine wool coats for a fraction of Abercrombie’s synthetic offering, saying, “This is why I thrift. You can find close to a 100% wool coat for less than half of what A&F is charging for Polyester bs.”
This incident is emblematic of a larger trend in the fashion industry, where brands like Abercrombie, in an attempt to stay competitive, have seemingly lowered their quality standards. Following a series of lawsuits, negative press, and a significant rebranding effort, Abercrombie appears to be adopting strategies akin to fast-fashion giants like Shein and ASOS.
These companies have mastered the art of offering the look of high-end fashion at low-end prices, prioritizing accessibility and affordability over material quality. Shein itself is in hot water after a documentary titled “IMPACT x Nightline: Unboxing Shein” was released recently exposing some of the company’s shady business practices.
The Daily Dot has previously covered another troubling clothing industry trend that customers say they are noticing: a marked dip in quality despite increased prices from various manufacturers, like Old Navy, over the years. Like Ganshaw, customers have been calling out how natural and reliable fibers such as cotton are being swapped out for synthetic materials instead, resulting in clothing that is nowhere near as durable or aesthetically pleasing.
The allure of fast fashion’s quick turnover and budget-friendly tags is undeniable, but as Ganshaw’s video suggests, it comes at the cost of transparency and quality. Consumers are increasingly drawn to the instant gratification of a trendy purchase without a second thought about the product’s composition or durability.
As the digital age empowers consumers with information and platforms to share their findings, the onus is on brands to maintain integrity in their product descriptions and marketing. The fashion industry is at a crossroads, where the definition of value is being contested. Is it the price tag, the brand name, or the quality of the materials?
The conversation sparked by Ganshaw’s TikTok is a reminder that while Shein and ASOS are reshaping the consumer shopping experience with their affordable styles, there is a growing demand for authenticity, quality, and transparency.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Abercrombie & Fitch and Ganshaw via email for further comment.