Swedish clothing retailer H&M is set to send in a team to South Africa to tour potential South African suppliers as part of a demand for the company to “atone” for racially offensive language printed on one of its sweaters, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday.
“When we engaged H&M in the weeks that followed we noted that they imported everything in the store.
Following their apology and as part of reorienting the H&M worldview of Africa, we have proposed that they atone very practically by sourcing goods from South Africa,” Patel told MPs while tabling his department’s budget in Parliament.
“They will have a procurement team in the country within the next few weeks to visit potential local suppliers.”
Earlier this year, the retailer came under fire for an advert showing a black boy modelling a sweater with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” printed on it.
Several stores were trashed in South Africa as people expressed anger at the advert which they saw as demeaning to black people.
— H&M (@hm) January 9, 2018
– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Catherine Rice