WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — For the second time in less than a week, online fashion retailer Shein has had to issue an apology for selling a controversial product.
Customers called out the company on Thursday for selling a "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace" on its website.
Many social media users accused the company of promoting antisemitism by selling the swastika necklace. As the backlash picked up on Twitter, the company quickly took down the product.
On Friday morning, Shein issued an apology and said it "made a gigantic mistake by selling a product that's hurtful and offensive" to so many. The company claimed what it was selling was a "Buddhist swastika necklace" that had 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," Shein said in its apology posted on its social media channels.
Less than a week ago, the company had to issue another apology when customers called Shein out for selling prayer mats as decorative rugs.
In that apology, Shein said it had made a "serious mistake" and vowed, "to do a much better job on educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions."
A Change.org petition to boycott shopping at Shein has more than 8,000 signatures, as of Friday morning.
In Shein's latest apology, the company said it was making "major internal changes so this does not happen again."
"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.
The only thing we can do is profusely apologize and reassure you that we're 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 work even harder in the coming days to improve our product selection process. We will also cease the sale of any religious items on our site.
We know we have a lot of work to do to deserve the love and support you've shown us these last few years. But please believe that we in no way support or condone racial, cultural and religious prejudice or hatred. We love all of you and hope you will stay with us."