Footwear retailer, Footasylum has removed a “stab-proof vest” from its shelves after a youth worker suggested it could attract unwanted attention.
Damian Henry, who works with young people involved in gangs or who have been involved in gangs, told the BBC he was “appalled” when he saw the item in the window of the retailer’s Nottingham branch. The clothes are described by the retailer as “tactical wear” from its “military collection”.
He said: “A child won’t look at that and think, ‘Oh that’s just a fashion item’. They might look at it and think, ‘That looks nice. That looks like a stab-proof vest or a bulletproof vest’. They’ll see him in a vest like that and think, ‘What is he doing around here? Before they know it, they stab him.”
Footasylum said they were not alone in stocking the items adding that it stocked a range of ‘utility vests’.
A Footasylum spokesperson, said: “This is a highly popular contemporary fashion item that is not intended to bear any relation to violent or criminal activity of any kind. However, in light of the misunderstanding around this product, we have taken the decision to withdraw it from sale for the foreseeable future.”
Twitter users spotted the vests earlier in the week and raised concerns over the items, posting pictures of them on rails in Footasylum stores and questioning why they were available.
— Leah O’loughlin (@LeahOlo88) February 16, 2019