Away is known for being a favorite luggage brand for the jet-set and other fashionable travelers. The luggage is durable, has a great warranty, and sports a removable charger for devices. The inside is built to keep clothing organized and it comes with its own garment bag and accessories. For many people, it is literally the perfect set of luggage and comes in all sorts of sizes.
However, as seen in this Inside Edition story, the work culture at Away is not nearly as well built as their luggage. Employees report that one of the co-founders (who has since left day-to-day operations) has nitpicky on mistakes and used public Slack channels to shame employees who had made mistakes. Workers were forced to work long hours and miss major holidays as the startup tried to manage its growth. Customers are outraged.
This story is interesting because of a few things. One is the fact that there is quiet sexism as work. Both of the co-founders are female and this is a major scandal. Yet, Steve Jobs and other male innovators were known to be terrible people to work for and yet no one is sending back their iPhone. The other interesting part is that increasingly people expect the internal culture of a brand to be similar to its outward appearance. If a brand seems great but has a terrible culture, policy or doesn’t treat its employees well then people are ready to dump the product altogether. This kind of conscious consumerism is very modern. However, while people are complaining about how the workers at its corporate headquarters were treated, there is no one complaining about how the workers at Away’s overseas factories are treated. Even in these scandals, double standards seem to abound.