Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by asphotostudio #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Image by asphotostudio

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion?

Molly Willows


Dolls Kill might not be a household name to the extent of YesStyle, H&M or Zara, but the edgy alternative fashion brand has long made headlines for their various controversies as much as for selling clothing.

But is Dolls Kill fast fashion?

In 2014, it was named the fastest growing retail store, with a huge online presence and two flagship stores in San Francisco and LA. They received more than five million dollars in Silicon Valley venture capital and their ascent continued to rise. 

Today, the company’s growth seems to have plateaued somewhat, with the brand mired in very poor ratings by customers, alleged art theft of independent designers, PR disasters over cultural appropriation, and problematic items that glorify mental health issues and sexual abuse.

So, is Dolls Kill bad and yet another reason to avoid fast fashion?

Or is Dolls Kill a real and raw “rebellious spirit” that’s simply misunderstood?

Let’s get into our Dolls Kill fast fashion (nervous) breakdown.

1. Uncovering Why Dolls Kill is Bad

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by victoriaandreas #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Image by victoriaandreas

First things first: is Dolls Kill bad?

It’s a common question prospective customers ask, especially for those looking for unique festival-style costumes and bold pieces to express themselves.

In their own words, “Dolls Kill is an online boutique for the Misfits & Miss Legits featuring clothes with a rebellious spirit and attitude, mixed with a bit of punk rock, goth, glam and festival fashion.”

Started in California by former DJ Shoddy Lynn and her husband Bobby in 2011, the fast fashion clothing shop came up in the era of Nasty Gal and the rebellious “girl boss” attitude, with the brand’s identity centered around strong women challenging the status quo.

Which we’re all for, but we’re here to examine whether they uphold this on all fronts.

Are they really punk rock “misfits and miss legits,” as the brand touts, or do the consistently very poor ratings as “the most hated brand of all time” say it all?

Let’s dive into what we know—and more importantly, what we don’t—to learn more about what’s wrong with Dolls Kill.


2. Dolls Kill Controversies

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by AndreyPopov #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Image by AndreyPopov

Dolls Kill has gained a fairly infamous online reputation for being a bad place to shop.

A quick Internet search of, “why is Dolls Kill bad?” reveals a list of serious controversies of very poor taste.

Black Lives Matter Dolls Kill Controversy

Even if the brand it otherwise foreign to you, you may remember seeing news of Dolls Kill #canceled a few years ago.

So what did dolls kill do to earn the wrath of the social media sphere?

In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, founder Shoddy Lynn posted a photo of riot police outside Dolls Kill’s LA flagship store, with a caption that read, “Direct Action in its glory. #blacklivesmatter”.

The internet was outraged by her support of brutal police force, with A-list celebrities like SZA leading the charge to #boycottDollsKill.

In response, Shoddy posted an official apology video (now no longer available on their Instagram where it was originally posted), which most people felt was insincere and insufficient for the harm and damage she had caused. 

Many people also thought she regurgitated language from cue cards off camera, instead of speaking from the heart. 

Shoddy Lynn then mocked the whole situation by launching a new brand video with the caption, “Is it even 2020 if you haven’t been canceled yet?”

Festival Fashion No-No’s

After the Black Lives Matter Dolls Kill drama, the brand lost further support from its diverse range of customers by selling shirts that said “Goth Is White.”

When the brand was called out, Shoddy claimed it meant “goth can be anything”. Whether or not this statement was true, the implied and common interpretation of the top was harmful, regardless.

The brand has a history of dismissing claims that their clothing is racist, thoughtless, and in poor taste. The brand first received immediate backlash in 2014 for cultural appropriation by selling a sacred Native American headdress with the distasteful name “Tribal Tease Costume” in their Halloween collection. 

When the brand was called out, an employee responded:

“I’m sorry if that costume offended you, but to call us “racist” is pretty RIDICULOUS. We’re brassy, sassy, stick it up your asssyy kinda company–not for the easily offended norm culture, so take a chill pill and get your panties out of a bunch…because it ain’t that serious cutie…”

They were eventually forced to apologize when the situation went viral thanks to a HuffPost article

Next up, the brand sold a t-shirt that said “DEAD GIRLS CAN’T SAY NO,” a glorification of sexual assault and necrophilia. 

When backlash ensued, the brand denied ever selling the shirt, saying it was from a brand they carried, but never the shirt itself.

They also went on to sell clothing that glorifies anorexia, bulimia, and mental health issues, with slogans like “A Cut Above the Rest” in reference to self-harm with a sharpened razor blade emblazoned beneath the text. 

One of their soap products came packaged saying, “Social anxiety smells like a list of pre-planned excuses,” which many customers felt was deeply insensitive to mental illnesses and disorders.

They also sold a lingerie set marketed to teenagers with “Lolita” written across the groin area, which many felt glorified pedophilia, since Lolita is a controversial novel about a step-father grooming his twelve year old step-daughter for a sexual relationship. 

The list of distasteful drama goes on and on in the Dolls Kill controversies category, but you probably get the jist already. 

Dolls Kill Stealing Designs & Art 

Other brands do it too, and that doesn’t make copying designs from other artists okay.

There’s a growing list of small brands and creators, like Instagram’s @beibadgirl and @k.samaria who allege that Dolls Kill stole their designs with substantial visual proof.

The worst part?

Historically, Dolls Kill has then gone after these people for harassment and defamation.

The internet is awash with horror stories of the brand’s founders’ aggressive behaviors like stalking, harassing, and possibly even hacking accounts when they are accused of questionable ethics like art theft. 

Ableism

The brand’s values, like much of its clothing, seem to glorify everything disturbed about society.

When they reached out to one influencer, Catherine Church, for her clothing sizes for a partnership, they called off the collaboration once they discovered she was in a wheelchair.

When she went public with the PR disaster of overt ableism, they simply deactivated their social media accounts until the storm blew over.

Resale Issues 

The most recent Dolls Kill scandal surrounds the brand’s claim to Depop of people selling counterfeit products or sellers misusing Dolls Kill website images, to stop users from selling articles of clothing by Dolls Kill. 

You heard that right—the brand doesn’t want people reselling their clothes, which as readers of ours know, is a core tenet of sustainable, slow fashion.

According to Reddit users, this has recently happened to a large group of resellers on both the Poshmark and Depop platforms. 

When influencers took to Youtube and Tik-Tok to call the brand out for this ridiculous (and illegal) ruling in the midst of a global climate disaster, the brand published an online statement clarifying that resale of their items is allowed, as long as it doesn’t use their images of the product. 

But of course, the internet already had eye-line of the whole interaction between Depop and one seller, where it was made clear the item takedown was a request of the brand itself. In other words, the damage was already done.

Customer Service & Quality Control

How else is Dolls Kill a bad company to their customer base?

A visit to their Instagram page of 3.7 million followers reveals comments upon comments of paying shoppers desperate for someone to speak with from the brand about their lost, stolen, or damaged purchases.

It’s worth mentioning that unlike other shady fast fashion brands like Shein, ASOS and Cider, Dolls Kill clothing tends to cost a pretty penny, with simple conventional cotton t-shirts sometimes costing more than $30. 

And similar to Princess Polly, with that price tag, you’d expect quality which Dolls Kill fails to provide. 

Most infamously, one woman received a new pair of shoes with a dirty, used menstrual pad in the box. When the post went viral on Twitter, the brand finally got back the customer and gave her a refund and a new pair. 

While this was a case in which the brand did attempt to make things right for the customer, it still begs the question as to how such an egregious oversight was allowed to happen in the first place.

The obvious sanitation issues, not to mention the ethics involved, are pretty shocking—even by fast fashion’s race-to-the-bottom standards.


3. Dolls Kill Ethical Issues

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by studioroman #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Image by studioroman

Now turning to the supply chain side of things: is Dolls Kill ethical?

As the laundry list of Dolls Kill drama indicates, there are some glaring ethical issues when it comes to this alternative fast fashion brand. 

So, what about their supply chains and workers rights? Do they have certified factories? Is Dolls Kill legit?

Unfortunately, they’re considered a Good On You “brand to avoid.”

For reference, Good On You is the internet’s most credible source for providing data-driven tools to assess, source, and promote eco-friendly clothing brands.

In their words:

“Dolls Kill provides insufficient relevant information about how it reduces its impact on people, the planet, and animals. This means that, at the time of writing, there isn’t enough information for us to dig deeper into the brand’s practices.”

In other words, we don’t know anything regarding this brand’s supply chain.

With no supplier lists, manufacturing certifications, manufacturing logs, sustainability reports, or CSR reports, we have no idea where things are sourced (let alone if they’re ethically sourced), where things are made, or any information around workers rights and fair wages.

We also have no idea about the practices used at their factories to mitigate things like pollution, textile waste, or energy use. 

Sweatshop labor, child labour, supply chain details, and animal welfare are all giant question marks. Greenwashing isn’t even an issue, since the opaque and mysterious brand does nothing to try to appear green-oriented.

When a brand refuses to be transparent, we have no choice but to assume the worst about potential unethical practices. Given the long Dolls Kill controversy list, we have no reason to expect their ethical practices in the making of their garments to be any better.


4. Dolls Kill Sustainability

Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by diatrezor #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Image by diatrezor

Is Dolls Kill sustainable?

Since they release zero information about their manufacturing, materials, carbon footprint, or shipping, we’re also left to assume the worst when it comes to their environmental impact.

For starters, if you Google, “Is Dolls Kill good quality,” their company’s online store turns up with the meta-description “high quality vinyl clothing for women”.

Is that not the equivalent of saying “lovely, durable, and toxic plastic for your lady bits”?

Considering vinyl is made up of group 1 carcinogen vinyl chloride—the most dangerous of all types of plastic—no thank you. 

Nothing on their website is made from recycled materials, organic materials, or eco fabrics that are easier on the planet, and none of the product descriptions or FAQ pages denote any mention of sustainability certifications.

The vast majority of their products are made from petroleum-based virgin plastic.

Virgin polyester and nylon are an environmental disaster because they rely on crude oil to produce, a non-renewable resource tied to human and environmental exploitation, wars, inequality, and more. 

Plus, once you’re finished with it, the material will never organically decompose, meaning as it breaks down it releases millions of microplastic particles and will stick around the planet for hundreds (or thousands) of years.

If that doesn’t freak you out, maybe microplastics being found in human blood will.

Even the makeup the brand sells is completely devoid of an ingredients list, claiming “vegan and cruelty-free,” which is both unverified by a third party certification and also unverified when we’re not even provided an ingredients list. 

In addition to using environmentally harmful textiles, the brand also uses chemicals hazardous to human health in its products.

In a statement on the website, they provide a warning to its buyers in accordance with Proposition 65, which means that some of its products could possibly contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and congenital disabilities or other reproductive harm.

The best part? 

You’ll never know which items they are, so it’s essentially like playing Russian roulette to buy from them.

While we aren’t the first to criticize Dolls Kill for their complete lack of transparency, and negative human and environmental impact from the production and shipping of its products, it’s important to highlight this as an example of exactly what not to do as a clothing brand. 

Even Shein is reportedly trying to improve its sustainability, but Dolls Kill appears to be stubbornly stuck in a bygone era where environmental destruction and total misanthropy were perhaps “punk” and “cool.”

How can a “rebellious” label claim to challenge the status-quo in one breath, and then uphold all systems of environmental harm and social injustice in the next?


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Final Thoughts On Why Is Dolls Kill Problematic?

So, any positive news?

Not that we could unearth with considerable digging.

Their latest fiasco of stopping people from reselling their merch through second hand stores highlights how tone-deaf this brand is to the current state of eco affairs. 

As with most fast fashion brands, Dolls Kill presents no evidence in favor of their performance regarding ethics or sustainability, but it’s their “brassy, sassy, stick it up your assy kinda rebellion” that really raises red flags that are neither punk, rebellious, classy, nor cool in this day and age. 

Instead, this brand pushes the envelope on controversial issues with a loud and proud “IDGAF” attitude that reads more as supporting the current establishment than rebelling against it. 

In other words, this fast fashion brand majorly missed the memo that it’s cool to love the Earth, our bodies, and each other—and we want ethical clothing brands that celebrate that.

Because who wants to attend Burning Man, Coachella, or any other high-vibe festival donning low-vibe plastic clothes made of hate?

So is Dolls Kill bad?

We’ll leave that to you to decide, but we think the facts (and lack of them) speak fairly clearly.

If you prefer your statement-making and edgy outfits to come with an edge of sustainability, we recommend checking out our list of favored sustainable streetwear brands or any of our other sustainable fashion roundups.

Because having an anti-establishment attitude need not be separated from ethics and if you agree, we would love it if you would share this article with any fellow pretty-in-punk fashionistas.

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Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by diatrezor #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle
Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion? Image by asphotostudio #isdollskillfastfashion #isdollskillbad #isdollskillethical #isdollskilllegit #whydollskillisbad #sustainablejungle

1 thought on “Is Dolls Kill Fast Fashion?”

  1. Wow. I had not heard of this brand but thanks to this article I will avoid it like the plague should I ever have the misfortune of it crossing my path.

    Reply

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