Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Fashion controversy: why Zara pulled this 'Are You Gluten Free?' tee

Zara tshirt.PNG

Yet another misguided T-shirt slogan has caused controversy this week, as Zara has come under fire for glamourising gluten-free diets after a top baring the slogan 'Are You Gluten Free?' hit shelves.

While gluten-free has become a familiar fixture in lists of celebrity favourite and fad diets in the past few years, it's far from a flash in the pan or lifestyle choice for those with Coeliac disease.

The shirt left sufferers of the autoimmune disease enraged by the trivial treatment of their dietary requirement. Coeliac sufferer Marta Casadesús from the Spanish city of Terrassa started a Change.org petition in an attempt to have the T-shirt banned. 

Her page titled “We do not want shirts with offensive messages for people with Coeliac disease," received over 50,000 signatures in a week.

One supporter commented: “Coeliac disease is not a fashion statement, nor should you make fun of the disease because of the strictness of the gluten-free diet and the problems that can arise if you do not follow it correctly.”

Fortunately, the signatures were enough to trigger a response from the brand, who had the tees removed from sale and issued an apology.

Inditex, who own Zara, released the following statement: “The T-shirt mentioned in this petition was pulled from our online store a few weeks ago now and we are currently confirming that it is not for sale in our stores either.”

It added “We sincerely regret that this case might be interpreted as a trivialisation of Coeliac disease, the absolute opposite of our intentions.”

Casadesús was pleased with the success of her plea, telling The Local:

 “I was really surprised by Zara’s quick response, both on Change.org and in its actions, pulling the T-shirts from sale in its stores and online.

“The truth is that I just wanted Zara to reflect on the message, I was trying to explain that perhaps it wasn’t the best way to make people aware of the illness.”

While the store claims to be unaware of how the slogan would be construed, the reaction provides them with an invaluable lesson about the weight of words.


fcuk tee.jpg

The ultimate 90’s revival: FCUK bringing back its classic slogan tee


Why have we become too cool to dance?


Spanish judge asks sexual assault victim, “Did you close your legs?”

when harry met sally.jpg

Veganuary diary week three: eating out as a vegan


The chicest slogan T-shirts, jumpers and sweatshirts


The rabid feminist row: Oxford Dictionaries reviews “sexist” listing

cinderella proposal.jpg

We don’t need permission: why it’s time to abolish leap year proposals

susan sarandon.jpg

Susan Sarandon has the perfect response to Piers Morgan’s body shaming



This clothing range is designed to raise awareness of mental illness

“It’s not a delusion, you are incredible”

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

24 Oct 2016

The Met Gala 2017 theme will bring some serious high-fashion weirdness

Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams are set to host the fashion world’s biggest party.

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

In memory of Richard Nicoll, one of fashion's brightest talents

by Alexandra Fullerton
22 Oct 2016

Octogenarian bride shows us all how it's done

She married her beau 60 years after they first met

by Amy Swales
21 Oct 2016

Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman opens up about her anxiety

by Harriet Hall
21 Oct 2016

These are the most popular boots on Pinterest right now

They’re total lust-haves…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Contain yourselves: Mr. Men and Little Miss stamps have arrived

We're going to be writing more letters

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

Victoria Beckham announces new fashion collaboration

(and it's affordable)

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016

Is this Michelle Obama's ultimate statement dress?

Hello, bespoke Atelier Versace

by Harriet Hall
19 Oct 2016