Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Coffee Shop Wants You To Know Uggs Are For Slags

Coffee Shop Wants You To Know Uggs Are For Slags

The Debrief: Don't they know that basic white girls form a core customer base of coffee drinkers?

Oh, blackboard signs. Outside of trendy, speedily gentrifying areas, they’ll be covered in drawings of meat raffles, or be painted on in that whiter-than-white fake chalk, listing the ‘specials’ with any number of mislaid apostrophes littering their surfaces.

But once you’re in the hubbub of a big city, where there’s the one-up-manship of both high rents and a desire to be Instagrammable, the blackboards display little phrases. Gone are lists of menu items or drinks deals or anything that could actually benefit the customer’s pocket. Insteaed they're replaced by funny sayings. So you can have a lol and feel inspired to go and enjoy what other lols might be inside, beside the coffee prices.

And to elevate themselves from all the other funny sayings out there – how many times have you witnessed the momentarily humourous ‘keep calm and drink coffee’? – Brick Lane Coffee, (just up the road from the Cereal Killer Café, fact fans) have made a habit of being both funky and edgy. As well as advertising themselves via Google as purveyors of ‘Artisan coffees, snacks & funky décor’, their slogan is ‘come happy, leave edgy’ and they put out blackboard signs designed to provoke.

According to its website, it’s ‘artisan’ aka normal coffee, with organic milk in. We assume this all fits in a little cardboard cup to go. Like many other coffee shops. So the edginess relies on the sign outside. That’s why, this morning, plonked right in the pavement, read ‘NO Uggs (Slag Wellies)’

Of course, it didn’t go unnoticed. People Tweeted asking for it to be removed. However, the coffee shop’s reaction when called out on Twitter about the sign shows just how adamant they are that Uggs really are for slags.

Now, Uggs might come with a specific demographic. But people who like to clad their feet in furry sheepskin shoes aren’t slags, they’re just basic white girls (and there's nothing wrong with that). And why on Earth would a coffee shop – competing, especially at this time of year, against Starbucks and their red cups – deliberately try to distance themselves from such a core coffee-swilling crowd?

And after people got upset? The company could’ve wiped it off and apologised, just like after they got complains for slogans like ‘SORRY NO POOR PEOPLE’ or ‘DON’T FEED THE CRACKIES’ (there are lots of homeless people who hang around Brick Lane).

Maybe the goal is to ensnare those who’d snort sweet mocha snorts of derision at Ugg-wearing women, or the sorts who think it’s legit to put ‘slag’ in big letters in view of a passing public who just want to walk to work, or school, or a meeting or to go and get coffee somewhere else. But regardless, this method could very well put off a fair few potential customers. This is in an area with about 16 other independent coffee shops within a three-minute walking distance.

Fuckoffee, another coffee shop owned by the same chain (not really a sister shop, is it?), chimed in, thanking people for the free publicity

Maybe they're still smarting after their freeholder demanded they change their ‘offensive’ name – and we feel for them there. It’s not right that their moneybags British Virgin Island territory-registered rent collectors demanded they move the goalposts years after they’ve set up shop there.

But people complaining about the Uggs and slags comment? They’re much more likely to just be potential customers, who would’ve otherwise given them money for their artisanal offerings.

Now, Brick Lane Coffee is posting Tweets from people complaining about the sign along with the simple comment: ‘Offended’.

Maybe it's time to lay off the coffee, eh?

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: FFS News, Sexism