It’s so not unusual to hear that Urban Outfitters has offended yet another group in society, but this time their Ganesh socks have taken it a step too far, says an American Hindu advocacy group. Though we’ve seen lots of Indian-inspired items from UO, the Universal Society of Hinduism has come out to protest the “awesome” socks depicting the Hindu deity Ganesh, known as the god of wisdom and remover obstacles (note: not necessarily including stinky feet nor cultural appropriation).
“Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not to be wrapped around one’s foot,” Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement.
UO responded by pulling the socks from stores and sending an email to confirm and apologize:
“We sincerely apologize if we offended the Hindu community and our customers,” a spokesperson said in an email Monday.
“We appreciate Rajan Zed and the Universal Society of Hinduism for bringing this matter to our attention and for helping us understand the cultural and religious sensitivities this product carries,” the statement continues. “We will remove the Ganesh Socks immediately from our website and stores.”
A responsible response, if you ask us — after the fact, of course. But it brings to the surface so many other questions about not only Urban Outfitters, who still have Ganesh t-shirts, sweatshirts and tapestries for sale, but the huge array of yoga-inspired companies slapping Hindu gods and goddesses on everything from headbands to yoga mats to bathing suits. The only thing we can see distinguishing any of it from flagrant appropriation and honest appreciation is intention. Also, don’t put Hindu gods on items you put on your feet, people.
[Via Business Insider]