LGBT-owned kilt maker denounces kilt-clad Proud Boys

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The LGBT-owned kilt producer pulled the yellow kilts from shelves in response to Proud Boys

A Virginia kilt company is "disgusted" that their yellow kilts were worn by the far-right Proud Boys.

Members of the group were seen sporting the bright garments at a pro-Trump rally this weekend in Washington DC.

The Proud Boys are an all-male group of self-proclaimed "Western chauvinists" with a history of street violence.

Verillas - the LGBT-owned brand - says the "nightmare scenario" has forced them to pull the kilts from the shelves.

Extremist groups in the US often adopt or appropriate items of clothing as quasi-uniforms that indicate their allegiance and make them recognisable to others.

Over the weekend, videos on social media showcased a row of Proud Boys in bright yellow Verillas kilts mooning the crowd gathered around them, with "[expletive] antifa" written on their bare bottoms.

Antifa is a group of mostly far-left activists who have repeatedly clashed with the Proud Boys.

Verillas owner Allister Greenbrier - a bisexual entrepreneur of Scottish descent - expressed shock and dismay that his brand was associated with the group.

"I was appalled, angry and frustrated because they are the opposite of everything our brand stands for," he told the BBC, noting that the men had initially claimed to be a metal band looking for kilts.

"I was quite angry. I had to calm down a bit, but we decided we really didn't want their money."

In a message on Twitter, Verillas announced a donation of $1,000 (£745) - a sum exceeding the Proud Boys' purchase - to the anti-racism organisation National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Aside from pulling the offending garment off its racks, the company is also offering free colour exchanges for anybody who had previously purchased its yellow kilts.

Mr Greenbrier says his brand is going to attach charitable donations to their product lines moving forward.

"I can't control who buys my product, but if they're buying our product, they're putting their money towards a good cause and I think they won't be too happy when they find out they accidentally bought from a company that's really fighting for the opposite of what they believe in," he says.

"We want to turn hate into love," Mr Greenbrier added.

"The loud outpouring of support we've gotten has really turned around a nightmare scenario and shown that a lot of people support the same message we believe in."

It is not the first time the Proud Boys have caused trouble for a clothing brand.

Earlier this year, British clothing company Fred Perry halted US sales of its polo shirts after the clothing item became a regular part of the Proud Boys' "uniform".

Media caption,
Trump: "I don't know who the Proud Boys are"