H&M on the mend after outcry over racist advert
BusinessLive - Oct 9th, 14:23
The Human Rights Commission says the retailer co-hosted a workshop with the Anti-Racism Network of SA to develop a deeper understanding of the offence the garment provoked.
The South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says fashion retailer H&M is making significant strides in rectifying its wrongs after an outcry over a clothing item that featured the words “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
The international clothing company caused a stir in January when it showed a black child wearing the green hoodie in an advert. Amid a public outcry‚ the brand was accused of racism and was forced to shut more than a dozen of its South African outlets after calls for boycotts and the trashing of some of its stores.
H&M later removed the clothing and issued a public apology. SAHRC provincial manager Buang Jones said the company was "making substantial progress on its commitments to the commission in correcting the offence caused".
"Since the commission's intervention‚ the retailer has co-hosted a workshop with the Anti-Racism Network of SA to develop a deeper understanding of the offence the garment advertised and sold‚ provoked‚" Jones said.
"H&M‚ in collaboration with another civil society organisation‚ the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)‚ developed a training programme for all office and store managers‚ which was implemented in May and August. H&M and the commission are currently engaged in discussions for 2019 training programmes‚" he added.
H&M had also appointed a global transformation leader to ensure that diversity and inclusiveness were strengthened in the company.
"It is the commission's hope that H&M and other enterprises understand that they do not operate within a vacuum‚ immune to the respect and attainment of human rights. The commission will continue in its endeavours to protect‚ promote and monitor the attainment of human rights throughout all facets of society‚ including business‚" Jones said.
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