SHEIN was one of my favourite online stores. I repeat was. The site sold fast fashion but most of us forget this when on our shopping sprees- we like it, we buy it. Some people rely on fast fashion brands since buying from elsewhere can get very expensive. Everyone loves a bargain right? So why did I delete my entire basket and vow to never shop there again?
Two words- cultural appropriation.
SHEIN were selling prayer mats as home decor under the umbrella of ‘decorative rugs’. Some even had the Kaaba on them. Reviews were shocking; White women using these to put cat food on and claiming their cats love sleeping on the rug. I don’t feel angry towards these women because obviously they had zero understanding of Islam, and the brand itself sold it under home decor without understanding its real significance. I found this out on Instagram and found links to a petition which I signed.
The petition was noticed by SHEIN, and after a few days, they apologised for their mistakes. They claimed that it was because they didn't have a diverse team and that it would NEVER happen again! People are allowed to make mistakes- it was just a one off and they did say that it would NEVER happen again!
Sadly, I was mistaken: only a few days after the Islamic prayer mat incident, they decided to add a swastika necklace to their jewellery collection. There is no way you can justify that, especially not this day and age right? Well, a spokesperson for SHEIN tried. They said it was not a Nazi swastika but the swastika seen in Buddhism (also appears in Hinduism) which is a positive symbol (good fortune) but often gets confused with the Nazi swastika. Not standing up for SHEIN in anyway but it is an East Asian site so maybe it simply just wasn't meant for a western audience? “As one (swastika) is highly offensive we have removed the product from our site.” (Source: SHEIN's spokesperson via Independent) Many Muslim and Jewish Activists are planning on boycotting SHEIN and we must support them! Glamour Magazine on July 11th posted saying that people are not buying into SHEIN’s apology, and I couldn't agree more. Glamour also included several tweets from young people talking about how threatening the symbol is towards the Jewish community. One user tweeted “CANNOT believe Shein had the MF audacity to sell a swastika necklace and then have their apology deadass be “:( Sorry” like excuse me ???? That’s it ??????”
On to the next - Urban Outfitters! I am happy to say that I don’t own a single item from Urban Outfitters. I found this post on Instagram @inters.feminism. It states that if you claim to be a BLM or LGBTQ activist, then you should boycott Urban Outfitters. The first slide shows a sweatshirt that says “Kent State University” covered in a pink-ish red tie-dye with what can only be described as false blood stains; I just want to ask who would buy this sweatshirt in the first place?? This is making an aesthetic out of the Kent State Massacre. The user goes on to show a photo of a white and blue striped tapestry with a pink upside down triangle and explains that it mimics the outfits gay prisoners wore in the Holocaust. On top of this, Urban Outfitters decided it would be really cool to release a Navajo line, which included a flask to fuel the stereotype that Natives drink more. Lastly, a colour selection for a basic t-shirt on their site was called 'OBAMA/BLACK'!!
So that’s it from me, are you going to Boycott SHEIN and Urban Outfitters?