H&M appoints global diversity leader after offensive hoodie debacle

2018-01-16 21:48
A picture taken on 13 January 2018 in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannnesburg shows the H&M clothing store closed after members the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party stormed the store in protest of a alleged racist slogan printed on a hoodie that caused uproar on social media. (AFP)

A picture taken on 13 January 2018 in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannnesburg shows the H&M clothing store closed after members the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party stormed the store in protest of a alleged racist slogan printed on a hoodie that caused uproar on social media. (AFP)

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Cape Town - H&M on Tuesday said it has appointed a "global leader" in addressing diversity and inclusiveness.

"Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, and therefore we have appointed a global leader in this area to drive our work forward. There will be more from us soon," the popular chain said in a statement.

"Our position is simple. We got things wrong and we are deeply sorry. The recent incident was entirely unintentional but it demonstrates clearly how big our responsibility is as a global brand and how sensitive and mindful we need to be about different cultures and particularly about issues of race.”

The retailer caused outrage after it showed a black child in a sweatshirt with the words "Coolest monkey in the jungle" printed on it.

H&M has since apologised and removed the image and the sweatshirt from its stores, saying it was "investigating internally to ensure this can’t ever happen again".

The company on Tuesday reiterated its apology for the "controversial image of the hoodie".

"We are reaching out to gather ideas, feedback, comments and observations from our staff, critics, experts, influencers and business partners. We are open to constructive thoughts to help us create a better future," the company said.

"We would also like to apologise sincerely to our employees, many of whom were placed in highly stressful situations in the wake of protest action. It has been a difficult and challenging week for H&M but we remain fully committed to our South African operation."

READ: Durban H&M store shuts its doors ahead of EFF protest

Read more on:    h&m  |  racism

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