Stench in Abercrombie and Fitch Stores May Be Evil

by Liz Colville

A group of teens — go teens! — from an environmental group called Teens Turning Green is laying into Abercrombie & Fitch for continuously spraying a noxious signature scent in its stores. Backed by a number of other groups including Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Teens Turning Green are going to storm a midtown New York A&F; store today to protest the scent, which contains 11 chemicals that aren’t listed in its ingredients.

The scent, called Fierce, contains within those 11 chemicals:

eight ingredients that are known to set off allergic reactions like headaches, wheezing, asthma and contact dermatitis — as well as alarming levels of a chemical that may disrupt hormones essential to male reproductive health.

My word, especially to the last part (many fragrances are known to produce allergic reactions, which is still awful). Co-president of Teens Turning Green, Alex Peaslee, says, “A&F;’s image is that of the ideal strong young hunky man, yet Fierce has diethyl phthalate in it, shown to be linked to harm the manliest hormone.”

The teens have also gotten together with a whole slew of groups and written a letter to A&F; CEO Mike Jeffries. The company posted a message on its Facebook page to address the concerns, and in the process used the compound verb “hand spritizing.” They also deny that any of the fragrance’s ingredients are harmful.

Stylelist points out that there’s currently a bill in Congress called the Safe Cosmetics Act 2010 that would change the way fragrances are regulated. Companies don’t currently have to list chemicals among their ingredients, but if the bill passes, they will have to do so. They’ll also have to test every ingredient before it goes into the fragrance.