American clothing retailer Lands' End has issued an apology to customers after it featured a leading feminist in their Spring catalog.
The Wisconsin-based firm removed a feature on Gloria Steinem from its site and online catalog this week, after customers voiced concerns over Steinem's support for abortion rights, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Following a list of complaints on the feature, including two religious schools reportedly saying they would halt future purchases from the retailer, the company has now issued a statement on their Facebook page, apologizing for any offense caused.
"Some customers were troubled and concerned that we featured an interview with Gloria Steinem in a recent catalog," Lands' End said in the online statement.
"It was never our intention to raise a divisive political or religious issue, so when some of our customers saw the recent promotion that way, we heard them. We sincerely apologize for any offense."
"We greatly respect and appreciate the passion people have for our brand."
Steinem had been interviewed by the CEO of Lands' End, Federica Marchionni, with the interview being the starting point of the company's "Legend Series" which highlights people who "made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large."
Gloria Steinem is a political activist, writer and feminist, who was a big part of the Feminist Movement during the 1960s and 1970s; and has helped found the "Women's Action Alliance" and "National Women's Political Caucus."
Steinem also founded non-profit "Choice USA" – now renamed "Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity" (URGE) – in 1992, and has discussed in the past about her thoughts on abortion, including a woman's right to have one.
Following the company's decision, several customers took to social media to condemn Lands' End's decision to remove Steinem's interview.
One Facebook user said it was "a terrible message to send to all the women and girls who wear (their) clothes", while others called what the retailer did "offensive" and "cowardly."
For more on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article, click here.