One of the ways Abercrombie & Fitch promotes its brand is by automatically spraying the store's signature fragrance "Fierce" from track lights affixed to the celings of its retail stores.
It is a little bit like walking through the fragrance department at Macy's, but instead of human "spritzers" spraying scents on unsuspecting shoppers, A&F has automated the process.
The practice has raised the eyre of a couple of a wide swath of advocacy groups who protest the serputitious spritzing of chemicals on unsuspecting young shoppers. Groups as broad as MomsRising, American Fertility Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Turning Green, AllergyKids and the State Nurses Associations of Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have complained.
The groups protest that the blend of chemicals in the fragrance saturates the air and poses a threat to public and environmental safety.
"We as teens feel it is unacceptable that Abercrombie and Fitch customers are unknowingly being exposed to harmful chemicals by simply walking into the stores," says Jessica Assaf, co-organizer and president of the Turning Green Chapter at New York University. "We have decided to stand up for our health, and demand a change."
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says that the Fierce scent contains 11 "secret chemicals" that aren't disclosed on the label, eight ingredients that are known to set off allergic reactions like headaches, wheezing, asthma and contact dermatitis, and a chemical that may disrupt hormones essential to male reproductive health--not an ideal combination for its target market of young hunky men.
"A&F has significantly reduced the frequency of hand spritizing that associates do in the stores. Instead, we use scenting machines which provide a more uniform distribution of fragrance," states the brand. "The machines emit a water-based, safe fragrance that complies with local, state and federal laws. The formulation contains no harmful volatile organic compounds or any chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or any other reproductive harm."