On Friday, the fashion chain pulled Native American-inspired faux feather headdresses from its Canadian stores after customers complained that the hair accessories were offensive to aboriginals.
The Swedish-based retailer received three complaints before deciding to remove the headdresses from the market. One of those came from Kim Wheeler, 44, an Ojibwa-Mohawk from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who saw the headdresses while shopping with her daughter in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“They’re worn by chiefs. They’re a sign of honor and respect and leadership. They’re not a cute accessory to be worn in a nightclub,” Wheeler told CTV News. “It’s not something you take lightly and throw on your head and wear to the bar or a concert.”
Wheeler told Salon.com that her “first instinct was to buy all of them and throw them in the garbage.” Instead, she emailed H&M, asking for the items to be pulled from shelves.