Looking for Ivanka Trump Clothing? Check Goodwill

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While strolling through a Macy’s the summer before the 2016 election, Maddie Redder was instantly infatuated with a white, long-sleeved lacy shirt. It was beautiful. It was classy. It was also by Ivanka Trump.

Initially, the brand didn’t bother Redder, a 67-year-old real estate agent who emigrated from Colombia to Florida. But after the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape showed Ivanka’s father, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, making lewd comments about women, the styles and patterns lost their appeal. Soon she was stuffing $500-worth of clothing, shoes, and bags from Ivanka’s line into garbage bags to be dropped off at Goodwill.

“After the tape came out, I was so disgusted [by the brand],” Redder.

Consumers are ditching their Ivanka Trump wares these days, and i t’s not just Redder. Startup fashion resale website Thredup found that in 2016, users listed 223% more Ivanka Trump-branded items compared to the same period a year earlier. That trend has continued into 2017, with users listing 111% more items in the first five months of the year. And that increase isn’t due to Thredup’s growth as a startup: In that same five-month period, the total number of listings across the site grew just 20%.

The uptick comes as retailers like Nordstrom, Belk, and Neiman Marcus have dumped the brand entirely over weak sales following Trump’s election. Some shoppers threatened to boycott stores if they continued to carry Ivanka’s line.


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While donation centers like Goodwill don’t track specific brands the way Thredup or even traditional brick-and-mortar retailers do, the givebacks have been enough for some workers to take notice. One Goodwill employee in San Francisco told Fortune that he has seen consumers bring in more Ivanka Trump clothingsince the election — many of which still had their tags attached. At one point, he said the store had at least one piece of Ivanka Trump clothing in each rack. A spokesperson at Goodwill’s headquarters said the organization hasn’t seen clear evidence of a surge nationwide.

But Housing Works, a non-profit based in New York, said it’s seen a similar trend in donations since Trump’s win. And a Buffalo Exchange in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City has had a harder time turning over its stock of Ivanka Trump clothing, store manager Justin Goellner said. Unlike Goodwill or the Salvation Army, Buffalo Exchange buys second hand clothing from consumers and donates the rest.

Ivanka Trump’s brand declined to comment for this story.

Meanwhile, on social media, users have shared their plans to get rid of — and, in at least one case, burn — Ivanka Trump shoes and clothing.

 For Redder, it wasn’t just the infamous Access Hollywood tape that prompted her to purge her closet, but also the future First Daughter’s response to it. At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Conference last year, Ivanka Trump said her father’s language was not “consistent with any conversation that I’ve ever had with him certainly or any conversation that I’ve overheard so it was a bit jarring for me to hear. He was very sincere in his apology.”

This defense, Redder said, made wearing Ivanka Trump’s clothing akin to wearing a Trump campaign “Make America Great Again” hat.

Another Goodwill donor, 52-year-old Shelby Jasmer, thought it was inappropriate for the First Family to make money off branded items while in office. (Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner both have formal roles in Trump’s White House.) And not wanting to “be a walking advertisement,” Jasmer, who works at a local school district in Phoenix, took $100-worth of Ivanka clothing to a nearby Goodwill.

While Ivanka Trump has stepped away from managing her brand, she has not divested her ownership of the company and still profits from its business. Since 2016, she has earned $6 million from sales of her fashion line, according to her federal disclosure documents.

As much as some consumers are trying to rid themselves of the fashion label, others who support Trump are snatching items on store racks and shelves, according to the Washington Post. Robert Passikoff, the founder and president of brand and research consultancy Brand Keys, said perception of the Ivanka Trump brand in the U.S. tends to correlate with the President’s approval rating. As Trump’s approval rating fell from 43% in February to 36% in late July, according to Gallup polling, a Brand Keys survey of some 1,000 affluent U.S. consumers found consumers who were likely to consider buying Ivanka Trump clothing fell from 68% to 60% in the same period.

“You can’t leave your name on the company, and still expect consumers to understand the nuance,” Passikoff said.

Yet while Ivanka Trump’s connection to her brand has become something of a liability in the U.S., her image has become key to brand’s explosion of popularity in China. In the world’s second largest economy, where there is a fast-growing middle class, the First Daughter’s poise and wealth has made her a “goddess-like icon,” with imports of the brand into China rising 166% in 2016, according to the Associated Press. Based on the company’s own estimates, that helped push overall revenue up 21% in 2016.

Back in the U.S., the average Trump critic can do very little to immediately change Trump’s agenda or remove him from office, said Jon Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University. So dumping the First Daughter’s clothing is one thing they feel they can do.

“Disliking Ivanka Trump or avoiding anything that seems like an endorsement for her is a way to express and release that unhappiness and helplessness,” Krosnick added. “They have really no recourse. There is really nothing they can do to quickly relieve that feeling.”


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