A major Chinese clothing brand JNBY has recently apologized for designing children’s items with dark and suggestive themes. According to reports, a mother in China posted an image of her kid’s shirt on Weibo which featured images of purgatory, racism, violence, and molestation. The mother mentioned that her non-English speaking family accidentally bought that shirt for her 4-year-old son.
The images came off as disturbing to her and many other parents who came across that photo on Weibo. They criticized the company for being irresponsible and ignorant. Someone said that wordings like “welcome to hell” could be funny or self-deprecating for adults but for children it’s different. For instance, words like “let me touch you” on a kid’s shirt were confusing that whether the designer was promoting pedophilia.
The Clothing Brand Pulls the Item
Following the outcry, the company posted an informal apology on Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle sharing app like Instagram. The clothing brand said it was “deeply sorry” for inappropriate images on kid wear products that troubled many customers. This apology was found as a reply under the mother’s post instead of the company’s account.
JNBY promised to inspect their products more carefully in the future but failed to explain how these prints ended up on kids’ clothes. Speaking about its design philosophy, the company said that it followed “freedom of imagination” to deliver more “unique” creations. It mentioned that it treated the incident like a “warning” and admitted that it was important is to promote good values as a brand.
It also vowed that in the future, it will incorporate innovative and creative ideas with good values.
Other Controversial Designs by the Same Company
Despite the promises from JNBY, it has also emerged that this clothing brand has been producing controversial items for a long time. Some Weibo users highlighted other children’s clothes made by JNBY that shared similarities with the recently viral shirt.
One user shared a post of a black down coat that contained an image of a South Asian person being shot by multiple arrows. Following words were written on that picture: “The whole place is full of Indians. I will take this gun and blow them to pieces.”
Related Incidents in the Past
Hong Kong-listed JNBY was established in 1994 and became one of the most popular local designer brands in China. According to reports, its total revenue in the second half of last year was 335 million USD. The mother who brought the issue into consideration was reportedly offered a refund but she called for some more action from the company.
It is because the brand has seen selling similar clothes in the past as well. Folks are concerned that thousands of kids could be wearing such clothes by now.
Reports specified that the company sold a lot of these clothes between 2018 and 2019. Several mothers have protested at its shops but the issue persisted. Many Weibo users were questioning why the clothing brand was immune to penalization.
Brands can sometimes hurt public sentiments intentionally or unintentionally. In 2019, Nike also faced a massive backlash after allegedly making shoes with Allah written at the bottom.