Most customers fear that their shoes won’t fit when they buy online. Few consider they might find swastika symbols on the bottom.
Conal International Trading Inc, a footwear brand that sells boots on Amazon, have been forced to remove a product from sale after a customer discovered that the tread of the boots create the imprint of a swastika.
A customer purchased the company’s Polar Fox boots from Amazon and posted on Reddit a picture of the tread and footprint with the caption, “There was an angle I didn’t get to see when ordering my new work boots.”
The imprint of the tread clearly creates five swastikas in proper orientation and since then the listing has been removed from sale on Amazon. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has not announced an official recall as of Friday.
E-commerce manager of Conal International Trading, Anthony Nguyen responded to the controversy on to the Daily Mail saying he had only realized the error in the boots after the post on Reddit. “That was totally something that wasn’t intentional or anything like that. It’s something we’re going to pull off the shelves obviously…it was obviously a design flaw,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen continued however, saying that there is a possibility that the footprint created by the tread was meant to represent the ancient swastika symbol.
“Obviously, that’s something we have to ask the designers. That symbol existed before the swastika in Buddhism,” he said. Used in Hinduism and Buddhism, the Swastika shape originally was used as a sign of good fortune.
While Nguyen claims the company did not know about the design issue until the Reddit post, the Daily Mail points out that customers had commented on the offensive footprint left by the boots at least a week before the Reddit post was made.
In a recent statement released by Conal, the company apologized for the offensive product.
“We would like to issue our sincerest apologies to our customers and to anyone who was offended by the Swastika imprint that the boots left behind. The design was not intentional and was a mistake made by our manufacturers in China. There was never any intention to include any offensive designs on the products we import. We will be investigating the issue.
Conal International Trading, Inc. does not promote hate or discrimination of any kind. Again, we deeply regret that this item caused offense and apologize for the mistake.”