Shein Was Selling Swastika Pendant Necklaces On Its Site
Update July 9, 2020 at 4:05pm: A representative for Shein has released the following statement:
"For the record, SHEIN was not selling a Nazi swastika pendant, the necklace is a Buddhist swastika which has symbolized spirituality and good fortune for more than a thousand years. The Nazi swastika has a different design; it is pointed clockwise and tilted at an angle. However, because we understand the two symbols can be confused, and one is highly offensive, we have removed the product from our site.
As a multicultural and global brand, we want to apologize profusely to those who are offended, we are sensitive to these issues and want to be very clear that we in no way support or condone racial, cultural and religious prejudice or hostility. We are actively working through our internal structure and processes to resolve these issues, including a product review committee to ensure that we respect our diverse community. We are a global and all-inclusive brand and we are taking extreme measures to ensure that all items are cleared through a rigorous vetting process before we retail them."
Just days after issuing an apology for selling prayer mats as decorative rugs, fashion brand Shein is under fire again. On Thursday, customers noticed something alarming in the jewelry section of the website: a listing for a 'metal pendant necklace' in the shape of a swastika.
While the symbol is commonly associated with nazis and white supremacy, it is true that there are various religious and peaceful ties to the Swastik, including those seen in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there is no confusion in this case. Shoppers took to Twitter to call out the Chinese retailer, saying that before changing its name and removing the necklace from the site completely, Shein had actually labeled the piece 'Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace.' It was listed for $2.50.
A Change.org petition was even started calling for a ban of the company over the incident. There were over 1,300 signatures at the time of publishing this story.
Over the last month, many fast fashion brands have been called out for their performative activism around the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as not paying or protecting their garment workers during the pandemic. Shein listing a hate symbol on its site adds to the growing list of problematic and dangerous behavior displayed by the industry.
InStyle has reached out to Shein for comment and we will update this story if we hear from them.