H&M has issued a apology over a striped scarf that critics said resembled a type of Jewish ritual clothing. In a statement to British Vogue, the retailer apologized for the error. “We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece...Stripes are one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone.” Critics said that the scarf, which featured dark stripes on a white base and knotted tassels at the ends, closely resembled a type of Jewish prayer shawl called a tallit or tallis. The garment is traditionally worn by Orthodox Jewish men during prayer and its features are meant to represent the commandments of religious texts. Social media was outraged by the retailer’s supposed appropriation of the religious garment.
Dear Fashion: Please step off other ppl's ritual items (or symbols of liberation, really.) https://t.co/NGZ6jYqp48 pic.twitter.com/bXIQuX1JRx— Rav Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) January 6, 2016
@hm is selling a shawl that looks like a tallis bc being jewy is so on fleek! https://t.co/Cs4sdj1K2N— Allison Josephs (@jewinthecity) January 6, 2016
@TheRaDR Wow. I'm not easily offended, but that is one offensive scarf.— Jason Rosenbaum (@WhyAmINotAsleep) January 6, 2016
As of January 9, the scarf was still available on the brand’s U.S. website. The Times Of Israel reports that the item has been pulled from stores in Israel.