The Proud Boys, a US based far-right group, have donned bright yellow kilts that happen to be designed by Verillas, an LGBTIQA kilt maker.
To Verillas horror, photos emerged of the Proud Boys at a Washington DC rally over the weekend wearing their kilts. In response, the label pulled the kilts from shelves describing the association as a “nightmare scenario”.
Videos on social media showcased a row of Proud Boys in bright yellow Verillas kilts mooning the crowd gathered around them, with “[expletive] antifa” written on their bare bottoms.
Antifa are a mostly far-left group that frequently clashes with the Proud Boys.
Verillas owner Allister Greenbrier, a gay entrepreneur of Scottish descent, expressed shock and dismay that his brand was associated with the group.
“I was appalled, angry and frustrated because they are the opposite of everything our brand stands for,” he told the BBC, noting that the men had initially claimed to be a metal band looking for kilts.
“I was quite angry. I had to calm down a bit, but we decided we really didn’t want their money,” Greenbrier said.
In a message on Twitter, Verillas announced a donation of $1,000 – a sum exceeding the Proud Boys’ purchase – to the anti-racism organisation National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).
Aside from pulling the offending garment off its racks, the company is also offering free colour exchanges for anybody who had previously purchased its yellow kilts.
Mr Greenbrier says his brand is going to attach charitable donations to their product lines moving forward.
“I can’t control who buys my product, but if they’re buying our product, they’re putting their money towards a good cause and I think they won’t be too happy when they find out they accidentally bought from a company that’s really fighting for the opposite of what they believe in,” he says.
“We want to turn hate into love,” Mr Greenbrier added.
“The loud outpouring of support we’ve gotten has really turned around a nightmare scenario and shown that a lot of people support the same message we believe in.”
Earlier this year, British clothing company Fred Perry halted US sales of its polo shirts after the clothing item became a regular part of the Proud Boys’ “uniform”.