Spreadshirt Responds to Design Controversy

Statement by Spreadshirt CEO, Philip Rooke

Two community-submitted designs on the Spreadshirt platform, “Save a shark Eat a Chinese” and “Save a dog Eat a Chinese”, have been discussed. After close examination and careful consideration, we have decided to keep these designs on our platform.

Spreadshirt provides an open platform that allows anyone to create, buy, sell, and share ideas on merchandise. These ideas come from a wide variety of sources. Our community includes over 70,000 active partners worldwide, including a diverse group of artists, musicians, corporations and brands, non-profits and organizations, as well as political groups.

Spreadshirt’s role is to enable our community’s ideas to get to market and to fulfill them with print-on-demand. We do not judge or censor designs based on their phrasing, social, or political leanings.

This open platform principle will mean that, in a few cases, some people may find a design controversial while others do not.

We have no intention of causing anyone offense, and I apologize to anyone who takes any offense from the two designs in question.

6 comments Write a comment

  1. The items publicly spread the slogans: “Save a dog, Eat a Chinese” and “Save a shark, Eat a Chinese”.

    They send out the messages: “All or most Chinese eat dogs”, and “All or most Chinese eat sharks”.

    Both messages are untrue. Neither dogs nor sharks have ever been part of common Chinese diet in history or modern time.

    Spreadshirt should stop spreading untrue messages.

    It carries the same logic as

    “All or most Islamic people are terrorists”
    or
    “All or most Germans are fascists”.

    This is more than an unpopular speech that causes emotional distress.
    The misconception will be infiltrated into young people or people unfamiliar to the truth.

    In addition, the slogans call for action of resentment to the ethnic group for the crime they didn’t commit, which is harmful to the human society.

    Freedom of speech preserves diversity that offers the foundation of seeking for the truth. However, when a speech is untrue and jeopardizes the health of society, justice and ethics should be involved and effected.

    Spreadshirt, who provided the platform to spread the untrue and offensive messages, and, at whatever amount, is making a commercial profit out of this misconduct, should not turn a blind eye and be exempted from the liability.

  2. Wow, so your motto is “as long were making cash we don’t have give a **** about ethics”? Your greed has already impacted my life in Germany. I never heard of you but now I’m telling everyone of your sinister business practices. What disappoints me most is that after a formal complaint of the Chinese embassy, you still don’t apologize but remove the designs silently hoping this is not going to affect your brand. The greed is real (you have a category that’s called “racist funny” don’t you think that’s a bit showing of your “community”.

    Good day

  3. If you mean your company’s platform is really open, I have an idea about Tshirt, can you help me to make it?
    My idea is “Save an anti-racist, boycott the Spreadshirt”(For against these racist and prejudice Tshirts).
    If this Tshirt design causing your company offense, I think I will give a similar statement to your company but refuse to stop asking your company make this Tshirts.

  4. I send below email to their contact after reading this post and was redirected to here again. Perfect loop thank you, that was so helpful. It really doesn’t matter how you intended

    Open does not mean no bottom line, will you sell some shirt writes “Save a * eat a (other countries)”? If not, stop selling those shirt and offer an apology.

    The email address started with “responsibility”, IRONIC.

  5. Dear Shuai Chang,
    The designs on our platform are uploaded by a community of 70.000 selling partners. Thus it is possible that one of them creates a similar design saying “Save a * eat a *” and shares it on one of our 18 marketplaces worldwide.

  6. Hi Anja, so we understand your platform is open and free, good, fuck you all german mums!! I want to see this comment not be deleted even you germans do not like it!!

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