Did You Hear? ModCloth Sells to Jet.com and this News Breaks Our Hearts

That's me, Natalie wearing a Modcloth Jumpsuit
Natalie Baack in Modcloth

This news cuts me deep and I am taking this personally, too.

So here’s the deal. In a recording of a company meeting provided to Jezebel (presumably by a ModCloth employee), ModCloth CEO Matthew Kaness announced that Jet.com has acquired the clothing retailer. This news wasn’t set to be released publicly until Friday, but the internet is buzzing.

It seems innocuous at first, a bit strange because Jet.com is like the Amazon for household goods, but then I learned that Jet.com happens to be owned by…Walmart.

*klunk*

That’s the sound of my heart sinking.

ModCloth.

…the gamechanger in independent fashion for women of all sizes, body diversity, and who just days ago launched a new campaign called #StyleForAll featuring Tess Holliday.

 

Is
Now
Owned
By
Walmart

…who, in 2014 got in trouble for featuring a collection of what their website called “fat girl costumes.”

And that’s not the worst of it. You probably know where I’m going.

Modcloth, the company that described as inclusive, woman-positive, and feminist by Cosmopolitan, is now owned by a corporate giant that has been rightfully criticized for paying families (or the lack thereof) a living wage.  A company who was sued in 2011 by 1.5 million, yes MILLION,  for gender discrimination.

Note: though it was the one of the biggest class action lawsuits of its time, they lost because the women in the case did not have enough in common to constitute a class action, but according to Democracy Now! the great RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) wrote that the “plaintiffs’ evidence, including class members’ tales of their own experiences, suggests that gender bias suffused Walmart’s company culture.”

So I’m just speculating here, but I wonder how much they’ll care about helping designers maintain their intellectual property or producing the clothes ethically.

Here’s what the CEO, Matthew Kaness, had to say about it (as reported in Jezebel):

“When I think about the quality of people I‘ve met at Jet and their ambitions and how it aligns with ours,” Kaness began. “And when when I think about their parent company Walmart, who has the resources—but also has when you’ve spent time researching it and understanding it, they’ve spent a lot of time working on corporate responsibility and environmental initiatives and opportunities for their employees and their careers. I think there’s a lot of overlap culturally with what they’re about and what we’re about. I think over time this is going to become an incredible marriage.”

Sorry Matthew. No. (sidenote: this is the first time I learned the company was run by a dude. So sadly, I’m less surprised.)

I do wonder what the co-founder, Susan Gregg Koger, was thinking. 

But I can’t help but to think that they could have done better.

Ugh. We still have so far to go ladies.

Related:   NEWS! Polyvore Integrates Plus Sizes and I Kick it Off With Them (Hint: Giveaway)

I’m pretty new to the plus size fashion world. Until I learned to love my body, I didn’t feel like fashion was a world I fit into. And as a girl who has yo-yoed from a 10 to an 18 over the last 10 years there was one place I always new I could go AND express myself, the way I love to.

I’ve often described my style as Joan Holloway meets Snow White. And there’s no brand who helped me own that better than ModCloth.

I have pretty much lived in their stuff. As you can see…

Photo by Edrea Lara, The Curvy Photographer

The reviews not only told me if I would like the outfit, they allowed me to check in with other ladies of similar sizes and specifically, cup sizes, to know if something would fit me or not.

But unfortunately, all relationships have expiration dates. And our love affair has come to an end.

ModCloth. I’m breaking up with you.

So this is a call to action.

For all you independent ModCloth designers and to all of you other designers waiting in the wings… don’t let this be the only place you grow your business and brand.

Start a new website, launch a new etsy store, and let us know where we can find you!

We will celebrate you. We will lift you up. We will promote the shit out of you.

And for you shoppers of quirky indie fashion!? You can still fight back with your pocketbook.

Here are a few alternative designers and online shops to check out:

eShakti

Photo by Edrea Lara, The Curvy Photographer

I love their customizable styles. You can pick your neckline, sleeve length, skirt length, and more. Super fun. In fact, here I am wearing an eShakti dress!

Unique Vintage

With a mix of Vintage inspired designs and actual vintage, they seem to be the best replacement so far. I met one of their models, Pinup Gigi Marie, on a Slink Jeans shoot and LOVE their Instagram account! Plus they have a rewards system, so that’s rad.

Lady Mayra Clothing 

I just found them on etsy and they look like a promising substitution!

Slink Jeans

Until now, ModCloth literally had the only jeans I loved. But thank god for Slink Jeans. In fact I got to be in one of their campaigns just last week!

Proud Mary Fashion

I’ve hung out with the owner, Jessica Hinkle, here in LA a bunch. She’s a doll and sells the clothing both online and off at The Plus Bus Boutique.

Jess also recommends ReDress, Witch Worldwide, Copper Union, Candy Strike, Chubby Cartwheels, and Ready to Stare.

 

Do you know more? Let us know in the comments! We want to support them!

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Comments (124)

    1. This will not save you money. Everything will be made cheaper and lower quality. It’s the same thing that happened on one of Lane Bryant’s buy outs. It went waaaaaay downhill for a few years.

    2. Ah! I’ll be honest I love Torrid. And there was a plus size legging test this blog did and Torrid won. So if you’re looking for a good place, they have everything from relaxed / sort of grungy, all the way to super classy.

    3. I loved ModCloth for their retro stuff. Torrid is good, but ModCloth was actually usually a better deal. I got things on sale all the time. And their selection is great. My wardrobe is bursting anyways. Sigh

    4. I hear you. I love Torrid’s in-store experience. And sizes 10-30 is a great selection. Their swim wear is good and lasts multiple seasons. I still hit LB for bras & underwear.

  1. This will not save you money. Everything will be made cheaper and lower quality. It’s the same thing that happened on one of Lane Bryant’s buy outs. It went waaaaaay downhill for a few years.

  2. While I am not a huge fan of Walmart, I am a lover of Jet.com. I can understand the frustration a lot of people might have with this but there are a ton of company’s out there under the same major umbrella with completely different structure, company standards, and outright policies. I say don’t stress until it gets “real”… many of the issues people have with Walmart isn’t just a Walmart issue, it’s an issue across the board in the retail and service sector where low-paid, hourly work is common.

    1. I’m not a Walmart fan, but I know that they emply a diverse workforce that includes some of the most vulnerable in our community including young teens, minorities and the disabled….I can’t be mad at that.

    2. Exactly. I call the Walmart boycott an “outrage of convenience”. Their business practices are no different than Target or most other major retailers yet middle class women can feel better about themselves by declaring war on Walmart as they walk through Target’s (or insert other retailer here) doors.

      1. I can only go by personal experience, but when the Walmart neighborhood market open across the street in my community all of a sudden a lot of unemployed people were employed and getting paychecks. They don’t care if you are tattooed, pierced, disabled, in a wheelchair or a scooter, they will hire you. All of a sudden the Brokedown old empty Cineplex that drug dealers and homeless people occupied was turned into a Walmart neighborhood market where we could buy groceries, and get our prescriptions filled. Now that building is well lit well-maintained landscaped and beautiful. People can say whatever they want about giant box stores, but the fact is, they employ people. And they build up neighborhoods. All of a sudden a lot of the teenagers they had nothing to do but lawyer and hang out and listen to music and buy drugs on the corner are working. The disabled kid is working. The older gentleman has a job now. I worked for many years for target. I was a single mom with two young daughters. I needed the retail job because I need to have flexible hours that I could go pick up and drop off my daughters at school. And administrative job does not allow that, only a retail job can let you do that. I was paid basic minimum wage, and I knew that when I accepted the job. People aren’t always victims. There is always a need to place people in 2 categories, victims & victimizer.
        It’s not always that cut and dry. Most of these people are happy they have jobs and are able to have flexible schedules. We aren’t all victims.

  3. As someone who is plus size and shops at clothing companies with more ethical supply chains (which are difficult to find if you’re not smaller than a large) this buy out really makes me sad. I got to visit their brick and mortar store in december and had a fantastic time and I hope that magic doesn’t go away…but it probably will :/

    1. Can you share some of the more ethical places you like to shop? I am actually taking a year off from buying clothes in an attempt to reduce my use of sweatshop goods, but I’d like to know some good spots to look at when it is time to refresh my wardrobe in 2018.

    2. I’ve been loving shopping on Poshmark lately. Even though they’re second hand goods you can get stuff that’s still new with tags. For new goods I like Lularoe too. But here are a few I’ve found so far that I’ve kept bookmarked. I doubt they’re perfect, but they’re definitely better than most: Industry of All Nations, Beth Ditto, Smart Glamour, Eileen Fisher, Marketplace India, Gaia Conceptions.

  4. I hate that we’re throwing them under the bus already when the deal hasn’t even closed yet. :/ WTF. It’s still ModCloth. It will probably still be run as ModCloth, like ModCloth.

    1. I’m saying. When I see a drop in quality I’ll take my business elsewhere. I dislike Walmart as much as the next person, but ModCloth didn’t turn into an ugly gray box just because they were bought by one.

      1. Sometimes people just need to have something to be mad at, without knowing The Who, what, when and how’s of the whole thing.
        It’s silly, but these days it seems to be more and more common. I’ll continue to shop Modcloth. If prices go up or quality goes down, I’ll move on. More than likely, everything will stay the same.

  5. I loved ModCloth! Couldn’t always buy from there, especially given that I’m a designer and prefer to make my own dresses, but they had real quality to their clothes. Hopefully they maintain that same level. I did like how the writer is encouraging buyers to buy from designers directly. There are so many talented ppl out there, I’ve seen so much just in Etsy alone. You may even spent the same amount of money (or a little more) as in ModCloth but the best part would be that it’s done specifically for you. It’s time to #supportsmallbusinesses #supportyourlocaldesigner

  6. This does not make me happy, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve had issues with ModCloth from the beginning. They existed online for several years before they finally included plus sizes on their site. Because they sold items from several different plus size designers, the sizes were always very hit-or-miss. A size 3X from one designer might be completely different than a 3X from another designer, so you never knew what you were going to get. Would the item fit me well, or would it be too small or too large on me? Would it be a well-made garment, or a cheap piece of crap? I ordered many garments from them that were returned for sizing and fit issues, or for being very cheaply made and not worth the $40+ I’d paid for it (plus shipping). As of now, I have 4 ModCloth items in my closet. Only 4, and my closet is pretty damn packed with plenty of other plus size clothing.

    Then ModCloth decided to make everything ‘more inclusive’ and removed the plus size link from their site. And because ModCloth’s sizing is so hit-or-miss, when I wanted to search for plus sizes, I’d have to search ALL plus sizes, which meant I couldn’t do a filtered search for my standard size to make things easier. This meant I had to look through ALL items on their site, straight AND plus size. Which only created more frustration since I might see a damn cute sweater that I really wanted to add to my wardrobe… only to discover it’s not available in plus sizes.

    Once ModCloth added plus sizes to their site, they did a good job of *appearing* very inclusive with their marketing ideas. I love their ad campaigns, especially the ones with non-model fans wearing the clothing. And I love the fact that they include pics of ModCloth shoppers wearing the items on their site. I’ve usually found this helpful in figuring out their hit-or-miss sizing. If I can see the garment on someone else’s body on their website, it gives me a better idea of how the garment might fit on mine. However, putting a good face on it still doesn’t make them a go-to clothing retailer for me for the reasons listed above. And now that they’ve sold to Walmart, it’s just one more reason for me to not continue shopping there. Even though I love most of their clothes, I never did much shopping at ModCloth to begin with. They just don’t fit me.

  7. This sucks as ModCloth was one of the few places that shipped overseas for a reasonable price or free, carried a nice size range, and had a great return policy.

    I used to be an avid ModCloth shopper but lately their prices have been going up and up (even though they were always expensive) and most of their clothes, unless indie designer, are still super cheap quality with wonky sizing. Also their recent line up has been a little disappointing. I figured something was up business-wise but wouldn’t have imagined this. Sad news.

    1. Yes, Pittsburgh papers have been full of this. It’s of course a great opportunity for the owners and stakeholders, not so much for employees. I won’t be buying from them any longer since I’ve been boycotting Walmart for years.

  8. Anyone who thinks Walmart isn’t so bad needs to watch this documentary. While it’s true they’ve had to succumb to some pressure to improve their environmental policies because of the massive size of their trucking fleet and property ownership, they are and always will be community killers. I understand that people shop there because they often have no other options. That’s because they made sure small businesses failed, especially in vulnerable smaller towns where any local resistance could be easily crushed. Please do not give them a dime, if you can help it.

    https://youtu.be/RXmnBbUjsPs

    https://youtu.be/RXmnBbUjsPs

  9. Well…Hell. I haven’t shopped in a Wal Mart since the documentary came out which had to be 15 years ago. This will not change any of that for me. I live in Austin where Modcloth has an actual brick and mortar. I wonder how that will change? Oh well. Makes no difference. Time to move on.

  10. ModCloth will remain independent with regard to how they run their services, so things aren’t expected to change with regard to quality. It just means that they will have more stability in the long run to ensure that they can continue, and that they can maintain their quality, good prices, and, of course, their employees.

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