Fashion brand Burberry has issued a new statement and apology after facing backlash for its controversial “noose” hoodie.
Last week, Burberry took a major hit after it released its newest collection which featured a hoodie with its strings formed as a noose around the neck. Burberry, right along with Gucci and Prada, became the newest company to find a place on the social boycott list. However, the company is trying to save its name by apologizing and issuing a new statement that includes diversity training for all of its employees.
“The distress we caused with one of our products last week has shown us that we are not where we need or want to be,” said CEO Marco Gobbetti in an official statement.” At Burberry, we have always sought to build a culture that is diverse, open and inclusive and one where all perspectives are valued. The distress we caused with one of our products last week has shown us that we are not where we need or want to be. We are determined to learn from this and have spoken with our employees, experts and communities we impacted, we have developed a plan to increase our consciousness and understanding of social issues and fully embrace diversity and inclusion. We have a firm foundation from which to build. We have strong values, outstanding people and creativity at our core. Today, we are taking further steps to make real change happen.”
Within the statement, Burberry mentions a three-step plan: To better its understanding of sensitive topics and social issues by training all employees, including persons with senior roles. It will also create “employee councils focused on diversity and inclusion,” and will set up an advisory board of external experts. The company also plans to expand its international creative artist scholarship, which will now give full-time employment to 50 graduates over the next five years. Additionally, Burberry will open its Burberry Inspire school, an arts and culture program, internationally. Burberry will also work with other organizations to promote diversity and inclusion.
While these new actions are a step in the right direction, some critics say these movements should have already been made, and without controversy as its spearhead. Thoughts?