The women's clothing and multi-marketing company LuLaRoe announced an end to their relationship with the National Down Syndrome Society after one of the company's independent retailers was seen mocking those with special needs during a live stream sale.
According to a statement from Mark and DeAnne Stidham, the co-founders of LuLaRoe, posted to social media, the behavior exhibited by the independent retailer was "unacceptable and insensitive," and does not reflect the beliefs of LuLaRoe or their Independent Fashion Retailers.
The retailer who was in the video immediately apologized afterwards and reached out to the NDSS. He has said that he will use the incident as a learning experience and intends to focus his business "on support for the organization and its cause."
According to LuLaRoe, the NDSS were not willing to accept the man's apology and demanded that his contract be terminated or they would no longer work with the clothing company.
"This video is unacceptable and further perpetuates the stigmas we work to fight and end each and every day at NDSS,"the society wrote in a statement on their Facebook page.
But instead of terminating the contract, LuLaRoe sided with their retailer, stating that they believe his apology was sincere.
"We do not believe the most productive response to his actions, which he has fully apologized for, is to close his business and threaten his ability to provide for his family," the Stidham's wrote on Facebook.
Other Independent Retailers and customers took to social media to show their disapproval of the company's decision.
What’s even worse is the founders have a granddaughter with Down syndrome. Think how she’s going to feel once she understands this. @LuLaRoe - your company should put #peoplebeforeprofit. @NDSS absolutely made the right call.— Amy Knueppel (@thethomps) January 27, 2018
LuLaRoe said while their relationship has ended with the NDSS, they will not stop their commitment to playing a positive role in raising awareness and contributing to Down Syndrome Causes.
The Chairman of the Board for the NDSS, Gordon Spoor, wrote that the society will "continue advocating for all individuals with Down syndrome, the Down syndrome community and living our vital mission statement each and every single day."
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