Sexist businesses on the International Women’s Day

Yesterday was the women’s day. We saw the media all around talking about how well have women done in order to achieve their rights and the equal world in which we live (or do we?).

Precisely yesterday I woke up with the following article: “Give this jersey to your woman: Sports clothing firm slammed for ‘sexist’ washing instructions on label”.

Salvo Sports, an Indonesian clothing’s company clothing company came under fire for controversial washing instructions that said women should clean the shirts because ‘it’s her job’. No kidding. Here is the proof.


Salvo Sports controversy label.


We don’t know how this labels will feel in Indonesia. From now the company has been shamed in the social media all over the world.

How can this affect their reputation? And more important, what is the company doing to solve it?

salvo sports
Another Salvo Sports label

Well, although is early to guess the future of this “lovely” business, we can affirm that their efforts to reduce criticism are being insufficient (to be polite).

The company has made some declarations regarding the matter. Here are the ones collected by The Mirror:

 “The message is simply, instead of washing it in the wrong way you might as well give it to a lady because they are more capable”

“There’s no intention to humiliate women. In contrast, (we want to tell the men) learn from women on how to take care of clothes because they pay attention to details”.

“Not all men understand/know how to take care of their own clothes, women are more knowledgeable/experts on such matters”.

“We apologise profusely for any miss-interpretations.”

So, not only do they print these sexist labels but they pretend their stakeholders to believe that it’s the public’s fault for “miss-interpret” the message. It was all a compliment for women. Brilliant.

womens day

Here is a brilliant example of how NOT to address a crisis. One that should be in textbooks. To opt for a defensive statement rather than admit your fault and try to solve the mess you need ot be very sure of what you are doing is right. And in this case it wasn’t. Just admit it, compensate the fault and move one!

But regardless the lack of apology and lack of sensibilility, other question must come to our minds: When you are a designer, or a retail producer or the CEO of a company like Salvo Sports, what exactly make you thing that a thing like this will be funny? Or understandable? I mean, what makes you think this is simply A GOOD IDEA?

I am honestly very curious to know what the guys who came up with this labels were thinking. Probably the same as the people from El Corte Ingles, one of the biggest Spanish brands that not long ago, designed two baby-clothing with the sentences: “Beautiful as Mummy” (in pink for the girls) and “Smart as Daddy” (in the boys ones).

hypercor pretty as mummy
Products sold by one of El Corte Ingles brands, Hypercor.

The only question is WHY? Did no-one realise that in a country like Spain some people were not going to like this? Nobody though that maybe “smart as daddy” and “smart as mummy” would have been less controversial? Why nobody stopped before the clothes were actually on the store? Was there any women at all involved in the decision-making process? Did they also though it was a normal/funny comparison to make?

hipercor label
Translation from Spanish: Pretty as Mummy (pink), Smart as Daddy (blue).


Of course, El Corte Inglés had to apologize to its consumers and take away all this collection of baby suits. At least their response was slightly better than the one of Salvo Sports.

On the day after The Women’s Day, a new sadly proof of all the way we have to go over to reach gender equality.

women's day

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8 comentarios sobre “Sexist businesses on the International Women’s Day

  1. in cases like this i am really happy about internet community, that points out such incidents on a large scale and forces these kind of companies to do something about it. but then on the other hand it is a small thing compared to law issues many countries still have concerning women. how about tackling the big ones first? i mean in general….

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