Urban Outfitters: Shareholder Advocacy and the Hipster Hyper-Capitalist

Can Urban Outfitters be persuaded to join other manufacturers in establishing best practices for its factories in developing countries?

John Wilson  | Spring 2015
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Tamer Center for Social Enterprise

In response to the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, where a collapsed factory building led to the death of more than a thousand garment workers, many Western retailers joined forces to address unsafe working conditions in countries where they outsourced their manufacturing. Hipster clothing and furniture retailer Urban Outfitters, however, refused to join this movement. This case provides students with background on the rise of “fast fashion” and the economics of outsourcing—and asks them to consider how Urban Outfitters might be persuaded to support the movement to improve working conditions in factories in developing countries.

Case ID: 150308

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