Hi guys! I wanted to revisit a previous post of mine real quick and sort of update not only my own stance on the situation but also address things which have since changed. Yes, that’s right, it’s the infamous Lucy & Yak post! It’s been one of my most popular posts to date, driving a large majority of my blog traffic recently.
I’ve had a few messages and also comments which were asking for a follow-up on the situation, as a few things have since developed from when I wrote the original post in September.
It was suggested a couple of times that people, myself included, were sort of making a mountain out of a molehill over the whole situation. In my case, the anger came from a place of pure disappointment. I didn’t go into writing the post with the aim of “taking sides” and stirring up any more upset, but you can’t please ’em all, right?
It’s hard to be such an avid brand fan, and then be disappointed like that. Maybe we shouldn’t be placing ethical companies on such a high pedestal, who knows. Either way, it was a kind of deflating moment when I heard about the drama. It was a bit of a “another one bites the dust” moment.
So forgive me if I had an accusational tone in the original post. Admittedly, it was a knee-jerk reaction and I was just SO disappointed as I’d expected better from a brand such as Lucy & Yak.
Some good news that has come about since the entire saga is the increasing size range Lucy & Yak now offer! I remember for years the biggest size they had was a UK 18. Ethical and sustainable brands are notorious for not being size inclusive, with no real reason behind it whatsoever.
So now, L&Y stock a range of sizes from a UK 6 all the way up to a UK 22! In both regular and long lengths.
I know that to some, this is a bit of a “too little too late” effort, but I’m personally grateful that they’re finally making the changes they could’ve made years ago. I think it’s great that they seem to be taking customer feedback on board and are actively striving to make better decisions as a brand.
I mentioned that Lucy and Chris had responded to accusations by making very tearful, wounded videos on both YouTube and Instagram. While I stand by my original comments and believe that this was not only unprofessional and essentially trying to shift the blame by pulling the “oh look we’re upset now thanks” card, I can understand why they did it.
It’s hard to occupy an online space and not take comments to heart. I’ve been on the receiving end, and it feels like you can’t really escape. Because people demand a response, and when you give one they pick it apart and it feels like you’re fighting a losing battle.
So I can understand why everything affected Lucy & Chris in the way it did. Especially when your whole life revolves around and relies on this business that they’ve clearly poured their heart and soul into.
Obviously I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning Aja Barber. She states that they used her for free intellectual labour in regards to inclusivity, requiring her to put in a lot of hard work without monetary payment. I have no real updates to make on this whatsoever. It’s not the first time I’ve seen an individual come forward and claim that a brand has used their services, without payment, for whatever reason.
While I don’t agree with it in any way and think it’s a shady thing to do, I know that this isn’t a concept which is limited to L&Y. An alarming number of companies and brands do this to amplify their “woke” status, when really it’s someone else entirely putting the work in behind the scenes.
A few people within the infamous Facebook groups had a lot to say to me. I just want to address that I’m not attacking every single person within those groups. I’m aware that the online abuse was more of an isolated incident, and it’s unfortunate that this read differently for so many people in my original post.
Lucy & Yak have since announced that they were taking over this group in an “official brand capacity”. Meaning that they can directly moderate what is being said in the groups, in an attempt to target hate speech and eradicate bigotry from the community. I think this is a great effort, and applaud them for also rolling out training in anti-racism and fatphobia.
I guess the takeaway point here is that nothing in life is ever clear cut. There’s a lot of grey areas which we have to take a step back and assess whether it’s worth causing a drama over or not. For me, this isn’t it. I think it’s definitely opened my eyes to the fact that we shouldn’t be putting so much faith into brands. At the end of the day, they’re a business. They’re not your mates, y’know?
Going forward, I think I will still be buying Lucy & Yak products and supporting them as a brand. Obviously this is conditional, as I don’t want them to think “great, we’re out of the woods” and to stop pushing forward in the progress they’ve already been making.
I’m not a fan of cancel culture and find it pretty childish if I’m honest. I’m a brand fan, I own and love products from Lucy & Yak and I don’t see myself getting rid of those pieces anytime soon. I’ll happily hold my hands up and say that from what I can see, they’re really putting in the effort to do better.
I’m going to keep this bit short and sweet because I’ve already gone on long enough about this entire saga and I’m ready to be done with it.
I’d like to thank everyone who did reach out regarding the original post as it allowed us to all have an open and honest conversation about the entire situation. At the end of the day, none of us are perfect and none of us will get it 100% right on the first try.
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.