T-shirt depicting black hand rising from water is removed from online stores by German fashion firm

The T-shirt illustrates a black hand rising out of a pool of water

The T-shirt illustrates a black hand rising out of a pool of water

The T-shirt illustrates a black hand rising out of a pool of water

A German clothing company has removed a T-shirt which illustrates a black hand rising out of a pool of water from its website after online critics said it resembled a drowning migrant. 

Online-based Zalando was slammed by social media users for promoting the article of clothing, which they said was created by the designer to represent rising sea levels caused by global warming.

The fashion firm, which delivers to 15 different countries including the United Kingdom, described the controversial T-shirt as celebrating ‘the simple joys of the natural world’ on its website.

However some online commentators were offended by the drawing – which sits at the back of T-shirt and as a small logo at the front – with critics insisting the imagery crudely depicts a migrant drowning.

One wrote: ‘The message has to be something else, right? I really hope it does, but what?’

Online-based Zalando was slammed by social media users for promoting the article of clothing

Online-based Zalando was slammed by social media users for promoting the article of clothing

Online-based Zalando was slammed by social media users for promoting the article of clothing

Another said: ‘Next, the picture of the dead kid on the beach as a cool pop art print or something. How disgusting and misanthropic can you actually be?’

‘Are you joking? I’m speechless’, another added.

Yet not everyone agreed, with some online users insisting they didn’t see anything wrong with the print.  

One asked: ‘Could someone please explain to me reasonably what is wrong with this? I really have no idea at the moment what is being interpreted. For me, this is a hand in the water.’ 

The printed T-shirt, which cost £49.99 and was made by Danish label Wood Wood, has now been removed from the website. 

A Zalando spokesperson said: ‘We took the T-shirt off our platform as we are aware the image is vulnerable to different interpretations. We apologise for any unintentional offence caused.

The company has now removed the T-shirt after online critics said it resembled a drowning migrant

The company has now removed the T-shirt after online critics said it resembled a drowning migrant

The company has now removed the T-shirt after online critics said it resembled a drowning migrant

‘At Zalando, we offer our customers the greatest possible variety of products. We respect the artistic freedom of brands and manufacturers.  

‘For all products offered on our platform, we want to ensure the careful and ethical handling of people, the environment and animals. All suppliers, factories and business partners must agree to our Code of Conduct. 

‘This is based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). As a European company, it is important for us to be mindful of discrimination and support diversity and internationality.’

Morten Meldgaard, Marketing & PR Manager for Wood Wood said: ‘Although we have the greatest of sympathy for the desperate situations of refugees, the print on the Wood Wood ‘Hand’ T-shirt is not related to the current crisis. 

‘The motive can, however, be seen as a comment to global warming and the acceleration in sea level rise. 

‘Thematically the Wood Wood Spring / Summer 2019 collection entitled The Outside revolves around the relation between humans and nature.’ 

Link hienalouca.com

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