A national clothing retailer has come under fire for allegedly promoting bullying.
Jet Stores was slammed for selling girls clothing with slogans allegedly aimed at isolating groups.
One of the dresses that caused an uproar on social media yesterday has the words, “You can’t sit with us” printed on it.
The Daily Voice also spotted another T-shirt in the store’s St George’s Mall branch in the CBD, which said: “SQUAD GOALS (noun) (skwäd/gõls) When your friendship group totally rules. P.s. Our Squad out ranks the rest.”
Shopper Clarissa Lester Witten made a fuss after she spotted the first T-shirt in Jet’s Edgemead store on Monday morning, and immediately posted a complaint on the store’s Facebook page.
The quote reportedly comes from the 2004 movie Mean Girls, about a group of meisies called The Plastics who bully other girls.
By late yesterday, Witten’s post was shared nearly 900 times, with more than 250 comments and 1300 reactions, with mostly angry-faced emojis.
In a lengthy post, Witten asked Jet: “I would love it if someone would please explain to me how you think selling a dress for 7-8 year olds with the slogan ‘YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US’ is ok?
“With all the anti-bullying efforts of schools across the country, with children committing suicide because of being bullied or made to feel less than, you promote clothing that promotes segregation? This specific garment needs to be removed from your shelves.”
Jet responded a few hours later, saying the garments were being taken off the shelves: “Good day Clarissa, thank you so much for engaging with us. We’d like to let you know that your complaint has been heard and will be taken seriously. These T-shirts are in the process of being taken off our shelves. Please remain patient with us as we attempt to resolve this. Many thanks.”
But another woman, Kareen Saint, complained about the same issue a week ago and had the same response.
“Clearly Jet wasn’t true to their word,” she wrote.
The Daily Voice on Tuesday contacted Shelley Castian, the communication’s officer of Edcon, Jet’s parent company, for comment but did not receive a response by last night.
Meanwhile Beverley Davids, who started the Chauncy Anti-bullying Club after her child was bullied at school, said: “This is absolutely not on. Jet is promoting bullying. If I buy a shirt like that for my child it tells the world, step back, you don’t belong in my circle, I am better than you,” she says.
“That is wrong and I am opposed to such nonsense.”