Another day, another fashion-related faux pas. This time it has to do with a fast fashion label that tried to cater to vegans, but missed the mark entirely. Topshop is selling a "Vegan" shirt that includes a non-vegan recipe, and Twitter is confused about it. The shirt in question is a pink cotton tee by the brand Tee and Cake, a fashion label that produces whimsical and quirky sweaters and tees, spanning from tees with sequined nipple hearts with tassels hanging from them, to sweatshirts with macarons and croissants stamped across them.
Their newest tee for Topshop was a baby pink shirt with a small brontosaurs featured in the middle, accompanied by the word "Vegan." It was a cheeky take on the lifestyle, insinuating that dinos were vegans, too, and that the concept been around for millennia. While that's cute, the problem came when the shopper took a peek inside and glanced at the clothing tag in the back. Featuring a cake recipe where the care instructions usually go, the recipe calls for things like three large eggs and six ounces of butter, which are so not vegan.
And shoppers thought this oversight was hilarious. No many people really went up in arms over this, but many thought it was just another example of how big brands try to peddle to certain lifestyles or subcultures while missing their point entirely.
The oversight was initially spotted by Erica Terry-Rose, who posted the photo first onto Facebook and then onto Twitter. "Not too sure a vegan design works with this brand!" she tweeted, accompanying the thought with #youonlyhadonejob.
And of course, it being Twitter, people dog-piled on top of the misstep, teasing Topshop for its oversight.
"Topshop may want to check what vegan means! Haha," one user wrote, helpfully pointing out a vegan wouldn't want eggs in their cakes.
Some thought the marketing and design teams needed a refresher course on how to make sure their pieces stayed on-message.
Others didn't like that a mainstream label was using veganism for profit, especially since they didn't really understand what the lifestyle stood for. They felt like it was an empty gesture to reach out to vegans to make a quick profit off of them — without actually being interested in their philosophy.
Real vegans who got wind of this controversy took the opportunity to share some real vegan-friendly fashion brands, sharing labels that even printed their slogan tees in vegan print shops.
Regardless of all the buzz over the shirt, the dino tee is still up for sale on Topshop's website, and Tee and Cake is still posting up photos of the T-shirt on their Instagram, meaning it's probably not going anywhere.
Topshop clarified to The Sun that this wasn't an oversight, but rather a clothing tag that appears in all of Tee and Cake's shirts and sweaters.
“The T-shirt is a brand that we stock at Topshop called Tee & Cake. The label is across all of the T-shirts in the line,” Topshop explained. “As the brand is called Tee and Cake it has a whimsical recipe in the label. The label is nothing to do with what’s on the front of the T-shirt.”
Tee and Cake confirmed this, but to make amends for the misunderstanding, they shared a vegan cake recipe on their Instagram. Taking a close up photo of the controversial recipe tag, they wrote in the caption, "Sorry to everyone who bought our VEGAN DINO tee and spotted our label includes butter and eggs! Here is our recipe for a vegan cake."
This has been their tag for years, so it wasn't exactly a design flaw. It just created an awkward contrast when paired with a vegan-promoting slogan.