Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll know that H&M has been in hot water over the design of a kids’ hoodie.
It read ‘Coolest Monkey In The Jungle’…and was worn by a black child.
And despite the model’s mum coming out to say that they weren’t offended by the design, a lot of people were and slammed the brand for being racially insensitive.
The whole thing was just a mess.
Which is why H&M has now hired a ‘diversity leader’ to try to make sure they get stuff right in the future.
Posting to their Facebook page, the Swedish fashion giant says that ‘the recent incident was entirely unintentional, but it demonstrates so clearly how big our responsibility is as a global brand’.
‘We have reached out, around the world, inside and outside H&M to get feedback. Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, therefore we have appointed a global leader, in this area, to drive our work forward.’
But not everyone is happy with the move.
‘You aren’t listening, at least not to everyone,’ writes one person.
‘The little boy’s mother said there was nothing wrong with the jacket or the ad itself. By bowing to pc pressure all you are doing is opening the floodgates to every nut job who gets offended over minor things.’
And another writes: ‘Omg H&M, enough with apologies! You will see that these dummies will forget about all this and will start shopping again in a few years or even less! They did the same thing with Tommy Hilfiger, talked all that nonsense and then started wearing it again.’
But its clear that H&M did get something wrong, because so many PoC were put out by the design in the first place – like Alysha, 25.
‘I reckon in the long line of people who signed it off, no one thought, “wait a minute, is this a little…you know…”,’ Alysha tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It wouldn’t have been intentional but there wasn’t a consideration. Remember the uni that tweeted, “May all your Christmases be white”? It’s part of a song, so the intention was to be festive and spread cheer – but isolate that line and dude, WTF!’
And Abina agrees.
‘While I don’t think it was intentional, I think it was ignorant and lazy.
‘Considering the level of thought that goes into a shoot, from clothing to staging and editing. It’s telling of the thinking of, or rather the lack thereof, the people behind that shoot and the lack of consideration is just as harmful as malice. It says that you’re not important enough to consider.
‘And that is as crucial a part of institutional racism as direct, intended subjugation.’
So it’s probably just as well H&M have hired someone charged with the task of thinking a little deeper about how their products affect people.
Better to be safe than sorry. And last week, H&M was very sorry.