Glossier's business is rapidly expanding, most recently channeling an impressive round of funding toward opening a Los Angeles retail outpost and launching a new mascara to much fanfare, among other growth efforts. But such growth doesn't come without the occasional snag.
First, the millennial-targeted beauty brand encountered a minor snafu when it mistakenly marketed its new mascara as a vegan product, only to issue an apology and refund customers hours later because that was not, in fact, the case (the formula contains beeswax). Then, on May 10, it was hit with an even more controversial setback: A plaintiff named Kathleen Sypert filed a civil lawsuit asserting that Glossier has violated her civil rights, specifically those outlined under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Filed in New York, where Glossier is based, the potentially class-action suit is being brought by Sypert, who is visually-impaired, on behalf of herself "and all others similarly situated." The complaint asserts that Glossier's "website is not equally accessible to blind and visually-impaired consumers," and claims that Sypert was denied access to the company's "goods and services" due to "multiple access barriers" while attempting to shop on the site. Sypert is seeking a permanent injunction to "cause a change in [Glossier's] corporate policies, practices and procedures so that [its] website will become and remain accessible to blind and visually-impaired consumers."
Sypert is hoping that the suit will prompt Glossier to incorporate screen-reading software — which is not currently compatible with its website — into the online shopping experience. And the beauty brand isn't the only retailer experiencing this issue. Sypert has herself filed similar official complaints against a number of businesses, including Beecher's Handmade Cheese and Allsaints.
Glossier did not immediately reply to Fashionista's request for comment.