Last Friday MAC and Rodarte announced they plan to donate 100 percent of the global profits of their Juarez-inspired makeup line to women in Mexico, makeup blog Temptallia reported. It’s a rare story of victory: a major corporate misstep, followed by consumer outrage and backlash, and finally, profuse apologies and the company’s full and eventual acquiescence.
Back in June, the high fashion label Rodarte released a Juarez-inspired collection of makeup with the cosmetics brand MAC with pale lipsticks and blood-streaked eyeshadows in shades of “Factory,” “del Norte,” and “Bordertown.” Bloggers were quick to point out that the growth of the NAFTA-enabled factory town was accompanied by thousands of unsolved homicides in the last decade—including the deaths of hundreds of women on their way to their shifts at the maquilas—since Juarez has become the epicenter of Mexico’s drug war.
The online outrage over “maquiladora-chic,” as one blogger at Threadbare wryly called it, forced MAC and Rodarte to issue statements of apology, and promises to donate funds to Juarez-based charities. After that came an announcement that the company would rename the offending products and donate $100,000 to charity. This wasn’t enough for MAC consumers, some newly politicized, who kept insisting the company do more to rectify the issue. Last Friday, the companies announced the new deal and repeated their apologies.
“We are deeply sorry and apologize to everyone we offended, especially the victims, the women and girls of Juarez and their families,” MAC President John Dempsey said in its statement. “We have heard the response of concerned global citizens loud and clear and are doing our very best to right our wrong.”
The Mulleavys apologized again, too: “Rodarte is committed to using creativity for positive social change. As designers, we strongly feel it is our responsibility to use ideas and actions for the good of our global community and are truly sorry for the offense we have caused. We are raising our voices in support of the strong women and girls of Juarez and joining others who are working internationally to improve their lives.”
The companies said representatives met last Thursday at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs with CONAVIM (Comisión Nacional Para Prevenir y Erradicar la Violencia Contra las Mujeres/National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women) to hammer out the donation details.