H&M to launch anti-racism programmes

The campaign follows a public outcry over a hoodie advertising campaign.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters protested and trashed H&M stores in Gauteng on 13 January 2018 after a racist advert sparked outrage. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Global retailer H&M says it will embark on anti-racism programmes both locally and around the world.

The campaign follows a public outcry over a hoodie advertising campaign.

EFF supporters last weekend protested at various H&M outlets in Gauteng and the Western Cape against an online advertisement showcasing a black child modelling a hoodie with the slogan “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”.

Some stores were also trashed in Gauteng.

H&M says it’s usually high standards of checks and balances have failed the company.

The retailer adds it’s taken steps to ensure such offensive garments are never manufactured under its name again.

Headquarter management will now receive training from a specialist organisation on issues relating to diversity.

Socially-responsible marketing will be promoted during a collaboration between H&M’s Swedish marketing management team and local “black agencies”.

The image of the child in the hoodie appeared on the British version of the Swedish retailer's online store.
The campaign featuring the garment has since been withdrawn.

H&M is also exploring potential collaborations with local South African designers as well as plans to open six new stores this year.

This is expected to create 300 jobs.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)