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“In August, it was SoulCycle and Equinox. The month prior, Home Depot. Back in 2017, L.L.Bean. These are only a few of the companies to ignite the collective ire of progressive consumers over corporate ties to Trump. In the case of the boutique fitness studios, it was a Trump fundraiser hosted by their majority stake investor Stephen M. Ross; with the home improvement chain, it was co-founder Bernie Marcus’s promise to donate to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign; with the duck boot and outdoor apparel brand, it was Bean descendant and board member Linda Lorraine Bean’s $60,000 donation to Trump super PAC Making America Great Again, LLC (itself a violation of the Federal Election Commission’s permitted donor limit of $5,000).
For Americans opposed to Trump’s policies — from the inhumane treatment and targeting of detained migrants, to detrimental inaction on climate change, to refusal to regulate guns in the wake of unprecedented mass shootings — shopping at retailers connected to the celebrity-entrepreneur-turned-sitting-president is tantamount to hypocrisy.
Calls to boycott Trump-tainted brands stretch back to the #GrabYourWallet movement that began in the wake of the 2016 election. Organizers Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio turned outrage into action with a spreadsheet of companies linked to Trump or the Trump family, both explicitly (Trump owned) and implicitly (Trump funders, Trump brand sellers), detailing why those companies are on the list and what they need to do to get off it. “The goal,” Coulter told the New York Times, “came originally from a place of really wanting to shop the stores we loved again with a clear conscience.””
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