Shein Pulls Swastika Necklace After Prayer Mat Controversy Days Earlier!

Online fashion retailer Shein is in scalding water this week after not one, but TWO controversies within a few days.

On Thursday, the website removed an item labeled as a “swastika pendant necklace” from their website after facing intense backlash on social media. The necklace in question (below) features a left-facing swastika (a holy Buddhist and Hindu symbol), but was quickly interpreted as being the emblem of the Nazi party (right-facing, tilted).

Take a look at it for yourself (below):

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When your business is built upon churning out as much cheap crap as possible, shit like this is bound to show up. As if @sheinofficial didn’t have enough damage control to do from last weekend’s Islamic prayer mat snafu, add to that this gold-tone swastika necklace that was, until very recently, for sale on their website. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The swastika dates back to ancient times and still holds particular significance in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, but since the 1930s, it’s been appropriated in clockwise direction as an anti-Semitic symbol of the Nazi party. There have been social movements that attempted to reclaim the symbol, which still appears on religious buildings all over the world, though none have found great success. With the resurgence of open, unabashed white supremacy, it’s doubtful we’d ever see the swastika returned to its origins as a symbol of peace in the West. Like you needed more reasons not to shop at Shein anyway. • #shein #fastfashion #etailer #retail #onlineshopping #jewelry #gold #necklace #sheinofficial #chain #pendant #problematic #offensive #smh #wtf #dietprada

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Though the symbol in the form on the necklace is not the same as the one used by the Nazi party, the implication of the word swastika alone obviously infuriated many. Take a look at a few responses from Twitter users (below):

“i can’t even believe we STILL have to have this talk. stop using literal SWASTIKAS PERIOD. it’s not “trendy” genocide isn’t “cool”. @SHEIN_official you are an absolute f**king joke.”

“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”

“and now they’re selling swastika necklaces too WTF!? the swastika is a symbol of peace in buddhism and hinduism but was colonised by the nazis and brings nothing but terror to jews.STOP SHOPPING AT SHEIN !!!”

In a statement to People, a representative for the brand shared:

“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.”

The statement concluded:

“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.”

A statement was also issued on their Instagram account, targeted at “everyone we’ve offended.” Give it a scroll (below):

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To everyone we’ve offended, we’re really sorry…

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Just a few days earlier, the retailer made similar headlines after the brand was called out online for carrying rugs (below) with illustrations of the Ka’bah and mosques that looked similar to prayer mats Muslims use.

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@sheinofficial , the massive Chinese e-tailer known for dirt cheap prices, came under fire on social media this weekend for selling Islamic prayer mats as decorative rugs. Prayer mats are used by Muslims and placed between the ground and the worshipper for cleanliness during the various positions of Islamic prayer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One of the mats named “Greek fret carpet,” depicts the Kaaba, a building at the center of the Great Mosque of Mecca and the most sacred site in Islam. Another features a niche representing the mihrab, a symbolic architectural element in mosques. The mihrab indicates the direction of the Kaaba, towards which Muslims face in their daily prayers. Others depict mosques and various geometric Arabic motifs. In one of the reviews, a customer lavished praise on behalf of their cat. “I got this as a matt to use for my cats food and water. She absolutely adores it!… It was way better than expected!,” it read. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There’s little information available about Shein. A quick google search finds the company ranked in several “do not buy” lists due to the lack of transparency in their environmental and labor policies. With most of their clothing priced between $5 and $20, it’s easy understand why. Other sites are rife with negative reviews of poor quality products. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The prayer mat oversight comes at a time of increased international focus on China’s persecution of the Uyghur Muslim people in Xinjiang. About 1 million Uyghur are believed to be detained in camps where they’re reportedly subjected to torture, forced labor, and brainwashing. Last week, it was reported that the Chinese government has taken drastic measures to suppress the population by forcing birth control on women through IUDs, abortion, and sterilization. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In March, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute published a report that found 83 foreign and Chinese companies to be in connection, directly or indirectly, to forced Uyghur labor. The ASPI estimated that at least 80K Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in various supply chains throughout China. Some brands found in connection were Zara, Gap, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret. • #shein

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Shein subsequently removed the items in question and released an apology (read it HERE) on its IG feed, promising that a diverse “product review committee” had been created to prevent these “mistakes” from happening in the future.

With or without a “product review committee” in place, you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to understand how people would understandably be upset by seeing the necklace for sale, especially in light of the situation just days earlier…

Thoughts on this, Perezcious fashionistas? Will U be shopping with Shein moving forward??

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