Shein, online fashion and homeware retailer, reached out to its 11 million Instagram followers on 7th July to apologise for a whopper of a cultural appropriation faux pas.

The “tassel and fringe trim” carpets marketed at a wallet friendly £14, received an intense backlash from the public. Perhaps not surprising considering these ‘carpets’ are much more recognisable as Islamic prayer mats.

In an Instagram post that went viral, Khadija Rizvi called out the brand’s choice to sell prayer mats as casual homeware carpets as deeply disrespectful. She blasted the brand for profiting from the Muslim faith without even acknowledging its presence. It is certainly a fair question how a prayer mat depicting the Ka’bah, the most sacred site in Islam, got rebranded as a “flower print tassel trim” carpet.

In fairness to the brand, they haven't tried to sweep this quietly under the carpet. Instead, the brand has  stopped selling the mats and posted an apology to Instagram for their “highly offensive oversight”. They have also committed to forming a product review committee with staff from different cultures and religions to ensure this doesn’t happen again.