A popular jewellery brand has apologised for selling a “metal swastika pendant necklace” on its website.
The apology from international company Shein came after customers complained about the sale of a gold-coloured necklace with a large swastika at the centre of the chain.
The affordable retailer – which has promised to review its product selection process – was selling the necklace on its website for around £2.00 ($2.50).
Non-profit group Stop Antisemitism condemned the item’s sale, saying: “It represents the mass murder of millions.”
More than 60,000 people reacted to an Instagram post by fashion blogger @diet_prada. The blogger attacked the sale of the necklace, writing: “The swastika dates back to ancient times and still holds particular significance in religion like Hinduism and Buddhism, but since the 1930s it’s been appropriated in clockwise direction as an antisemitic symbol of the Nazi party,” adding: “with the resurgence of open, unabashed white supremacy it’s doubtful we’d ever see the swastika returned to its origin as a symbol of peace in the West.”
In response to criticism from shoppers, a Shein spokesperson apologised for the sale of a symbol popularised by the Nazis, telling customers: “Sorry we let you down”.
The spokesperson said: “We made a gigantic mistake by selling a product that’s hurtful and offensive to many of you, and we’re so, so sorry.
“Here’s what happened: We listed a Buddhist swastika necklace for sale. There’s simply no excuse for our lack of sensitivity in doing so. The item was removed as soon as we discovered this mistake.
“The Buddhist symbol has stood for spirituality and good fortune for more than a thousand years, and has a different design than the Nazi swastika which stands for hate – but frankly, that doesn’t matter because we should’ve been more considerate of the symbol’s hurtful connotations to so many people around the world, and we didn’t.”
They added: “The only thing we can do is profusely apologise and reassure you that we’ve making major internal changes so this does not happen again.
“We recently established a committee to review products before they’re sold and promise to improve our product selection process.
“We will also cease of the sale of any religious items on our site.”