Fashion brand SHEIN has apologised and removed a swastika style necklace from its website after receiving criticism about the product via social media.
Earlier this week customers headed to Twitter and Instagram to point out the discovery of a listing for a “metal pendant necklace” in the shape of a swastika.
“I am so disgusted by @sheinofficial’s sheer ignorance and blatant disrespect towards other cultures and religions,” activist and YouTuber Nabelor Noor wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile, fashion influencer Marissa Casey Grossman, known as Fashion Ambitionist, also headed to social media to share her frustration and disappointment about the necklace.
Sharing a screenshot of the product, while it was still on sale, she called out the company’s decision to sell the necklace in the accompanying caption.
“HOLY F**K. I have zero words,” she wrote. “I will NEVER be buying from @sheinofficial @shein_us EVER again.
“This is a company that I’ve bought from so much over the years and to see this is ABSOLUTELY disgusting. I didn’t believe this when I saw it— so did a simple search on their site. And, there it was.”
Following the backlash a spokesperson for SHEIN released a statement explaining that the company’s intentions were to reference the use of the symbol in Buddism.
“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 statement reads, according to InStyle.
“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,” the statement continues.
“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."
The brand has also issued an official apology to shoppers via Instagram.
“We made a gigantic mistake by selling a product that is hurtful and offensive to many of you and we’re so, so sorry,” the apology began before going on to explain the product has now been removed.
Ahead of the necklace’s removal shoppers flocked to Twitter to call out the retailer for the listing.
A Change.org petition was even started calling for a ban of the company over the incident, which at the time of publishing this story had clocked up over 7,800 signatures.
I understand that Swastikas are known as a peace-symbol in other cultures,but sadly Nazis stole it. And they are now universally known as the symbol responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews.Therefore, STOP BLAMING JEWS for feeling upset abt this necklace being sold by #Shein pic.twitter.com/pn2qBkknOB— Aliciaxx✨FINDNAYARIVERA (@AliciaKiessel) July 10, 2020
The backlash comes after the company were heavily criticised for selling Islamic prayer mats as home decor on its site.
The mats being sold were labelled as “frilled Greek carpets” and had pictures of the Kabaa, a building located in the heart of Mecca, on them.
Following the upset the company posted an apology on Instagram on July 4, calling its marketing of prayer rugs as decor, “a serious mistake.”
Yahoo Style has reached out to SHEIN for further comment and will update the article if a further response is received.