SHEIN has been a popular place for cheap clothing since it first launched in 2008, but particularly in recent months. However, the fast-fashion brand is currently under fire after users reported seeing a swastika-shaped necklace on SHEIN. Now, many are taking to Twitter to voice their understandable outrage.
In screenshots posted to Twitter, the necklace appears to be titled “Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace” and just "Metal Pendant Necklace" in others. As of this writing on July 9, the necklace seems to have been taken down from the brand’s site, and what appears to be a link to the necklace currently leads to a 404 error page, although the URL still includes the words "Metal Swastika Necklace." Justifiably, Twitter has become a whirlwind of outrage, with people calling for boycotts of SHEIN and demanding answers from the brand.
A representative for SHEIN provided Elite Daily with the following comment when asked about the swastika necklace and the subsequent social media backlash:
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.
Although the use of the swastika symbol dates back to ancient Eurasian societies (the word translates to the Sanskrit word "svastika," essentially meaning "well-being"), the swastika has been a symbol of anti-Semitism, hate, and white supremacy since the Nazis appropriated it from Eastern religions in the '20s, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Due to the United States' laws regarding freedom of speech, the symbol isn't illegal to sell or display, unlike in Germany and other European countries. Whether illegal or not, many people are calling out SHEIN for featuring a symbol of hate, racism, and anti-Semitism.
This information comes just after SHEIN was called out for selling Islamic prayer mats as rugs earlier in July 2020. "We also formed a product review committee with staff from different cultures and religions so a mistake like this doesn't happen again," SHEIN said in a statement in response to the backlash. "As a global brand, we vow to do a much better job in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions to ensure out diverse community it respected and honored."
While the necklace no longer appears to be on the website, people are still rightfully outraged that a brand would make and sell the image. These tweets below are a glimpse into the anger many are feeling.