Fast-fashion retailer Shein is once again facing backlash for one of its product listings. The site pulled an item labeled “swastika pendant necklace” from its website Thursday after being slammed on social media for promoting anti-Semitism with the notorious Nazi symbol.
Earlier on Thursday, @hereforthetea2, an Instagram page that highlights drama in online communities, shared a post featuring the necklace, which shows the “swastika” label and a clear image of the necklace on Shein’s website. Some screenshots of the listing indicate it was sold for $2.50, while others showed it listed for $4.
Popular influencer Nabela Noor also wrote on Instagram that she was “so disgusted by @sheinofficial’s sheer ignorance and blatant disrespect towards other cultures and religions.”
“I am contacting the Head of Brand today and bringing this to his attention,” she said.
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Shein, a company that’s become popular for YouTube “try on hauls,” appears to be selling swastika necklaces?!!! I am disgusted. @sheinofficial @shein_us . #shein
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Outrage quickly spread across Twitter and Instagram, with thousands of users expressing disgust with the company. While some argued that the symbol stems from religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, the majority of commenters disapproved and pointed out that it is now largely associated with the Nazis, who adopted the ancient icon in the 1930s as an emblem of their fascist regime.
“This is ACTIVELY THREATENING to the Jewish community,” one user tweeted. “Do NOT let Shein get away with this.”
“STOP SHOPPING AT SHEIN,” another tweeted. “Not only do they use child labor and fast fashion, they are literally selling a SWASTIKA NECKLACE. Please speak up about this.”
Hundreds of users said they would no longer shop from Shein. Following the backlash, the company removed the necklace from its website.
A representative at Shein told The New York Post that the necklace was meant to be a “Buddhist swastika which has symbolized spirituality and good fortune.”
“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 spokesperson told The Post. “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.”
“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,” they added.
Shein did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.
Last week, Shein also came under fire for selling rugs resembling Muslim prayer mats with descriptions like “fringe trim carpet.” Some of the rugs featured illustrations of the Kaaba, one of Islam’s most sacred sites, and mosques.
Two days later, Shein removed the items and issued a public apology on its Instagram.
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UPDATE: @sheinofficial has now removed most of these items from their website, which is what we wanted; however there’s been no acknowledgement, statement or apology from them. . I am disgusted. I am livid. @sheinofficial is also PROFITING off muslim prayer mats (janemaz/sajadah) by selling them as ‘fringe trim carpets’ for people to use casually around the house. A few have the Kaaba printed on them. THIS IS HIGHLY OFFENSIVE, Not only is it disrespectful but they once again renamed and stole credit from a whole faith this time, by failing to label it as a muslim prayer mat; which allows people to use it casually as a decorative mat. *A prayer mat is an important piece of fabric, used by Muslims, placed between the ground and the worshipper during their five daily prayers. It is NOT a carpet and must be treated with respect and you don’t ever wear shoes on it. It’s important for us to acknowledge the disrespect that is committed here, and that action must be taken to remove this product from their line. Corporate organisations can be difficult to take down, but you can do your bit by: -BOYCOTTING THEM -RAISING SOCIAL MEDIA AWARENESS (can really make a difference) – SENDING EMAILS . They are a company based in china, which makes it more difficult to take certain actions, therefore tagging and raising awareness which will enable people to boycott them is the way forward until they take down the items, acknowledge and apologise. If anyone has any ideas of what more we can do, DM me. . Thanks to @toobzz__ for bringing my attention to this. . #shein #sheinofficial #muslim #prayermat #culturalappropriation #islam #china
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“To our community — we made a serious mistake recently by selling prayer mats as decorative rugs on our site. We understand this was a highly offensive oversight and are truly sorry,” the brand wrote. “Since it was brought to our attention, we immediately removed the products from our site and asked our vendor to stop selling to others.”
“We also formed a product review committee with staff from different cultures and religions so a mistake like this doesn’t happen again,” the site added. “As a global brand, we vow to do a much better job in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions to ensure our diverse community is respected and honored. We offer our sincerest apology to all whom we have hurt and offered, and hope we can earn your forgiveness.”
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