This website started out with a real indie feel. It contained mostly free patterns. Now, patterns are almost entirely for sale. I understand a company exists to make money. I understand employees need to be paid. I get that there are overhead costs like server space, phone bills and what have you. Even the ads at the top of the webpage did not offend me. What I do find offensive, though, is the most recent Gap ad disguised as a newsletter. I receive enough spam/advertising email as things stand. I do not need Burda Style to begin disguising advertising email as a helpful sewing hint newsletter.
Why I found this newsletter offensive:
1) The email states: “members were given the opportunity to create some fantastic looks using GAP denim.”
Being that this is a do-it-yourself sewing website, and not just a website about style, my first assumption was that Gap had started selling bolts of jean fabric for home seamstresses to finally have a quality jean fabric to work with.
Although I agree that these ladies have a great sense of style, I do not consider the act of putting on a pair of Gap jeans and a shirt of their choice “creating”. When a website such as Burda Style uses the word “create” I expect to see something actually made by the hands of its staff or members.
2) There is never any clarification that the denim seen in the slideshow is actually most likely manufactured in third world countries and not by the members who are modeling them.
Many people who subscribe to Burda Style and make their own garments do so as part of a lifestyle choice to reduce waste, unnecessary retail purchases, to avoid supporting large companies that exploit poor workers in foreign countries or merely to have their own personal style. That is why I was surprised that Burda Style would risk damaging the image of a website whose motto is “for people who sew” and not “for people who purchase mass-produced clothing” by sending what I consider to be spam from a multinational retail clothing company.
I would urge Burda Style to reexamine their advertising policies to evaluate whether they are in line with the values of the users of this site. If they are not, as would appear to be the case, perhaps some changes need to be made in order to avoid the gradual deterioration of what has been a supportive, encouraging community for people of all walks of life who choose to sew their own clothing instead of purchasing the same garments the rest of the world will be seen in.
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