A recent controversy blew up over the past weeks regarding Shein, an online fash fashion clothing store, with its cultural and religious appropriation. A little less than two weeks ago, Shein started selling rugs that very closely resembled Muslim prayer mats. Some even contained images of the Kaapa, which is located in Mecca and is one of the most sacred sites in Islamic culture. After receiving backlash, Shein posted an apology on Instagram on July 5th for their actions stating, “To our community— we made a serious mistake recently by selling prayer mats as decorative rugs on our site. We understand this was a highly offensive oversight and are truly sorry.” They stated later in the apology that they “formed a product review committee with staff from different cultures and religions so a mistake like this doesn’t happen again.” However, it was later found that Shein had a swastika necklace on sale, which prompted them to post another apology on July 10th. Similar to their prior apology, they stated again that they have “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.”
Though they claimed to have made changes to their process of approving products, another offensive product surfaced on their site not even a week later. They showed blatant disrespect towards Islamic culture, and it appears that they did not learn from this mistake because they then disrespected the Jewish culture as well. This sort of behavior is unacceptable for Shein, a brand with a high popularity, as millions of people will view and shop for these products— even if their intentions were not hostile or harmful, it sure came across that way and caused many to feel disrespected. It is expected that Shein and other brands will not sell products that spread any message of discrimination and hate ever.