H&M pulls ‘tallit scarf’ following criticism

January 9, 2016  

HM has apologized for a women’s scarf that looks like a tallit (prayer shawl) and said it would pull the item from shelves in Israel.

“We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece. Everyone is welcome at HM and we never take a religious or political stand,” the retailer told Vogue News.

“Stripes are one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone,” added the company.

While the scarf remains available to purchase on the brand’s website, a spokesperson quoted by Vogue News stressed, “The quantities were small and the products are no longer available in some markets.”

The product received mixed reviews on social media last week. Some Jews accused the company of shamefully using a sacred Jewish religious symbol in such a way, while others cynically wondered, “Is there a tekhelet (blue fringe) option?”

This is not the first time the company made use of Jewish themes and ideas. In 2011, they issued a similarly-styled women’s poncho.

And in 2014, noted Vogue News, HM  produced a menswear vest that featured a skull in the center of a Star of David. In that incident too, the company apologized and took the item off sale.

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